Medical analyst predicts Big Ben won't play

Dr. Michael Kaplan, ESPN's medical analyst, thinks Ben Roethlisberger's ankle injury will sideline the Steelers quarterback at San Francisco.

"I can't imagine by Monday night that he would be valuable to the team or in his own interests," Kaplan said. "I think we will probably see him sit."

Roethlisberger injured his ankle in the second quarter of the Dec. 8 win over the Cleveland Browns. He returned to play the entire second half.

Since that game, Roethlisberger has been wearing a protective boot and didn't practice Wednesday. Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon would start if Roethlisberger can't play.

"It's actually quite a profound sprain," Kaplan said. "This is a real big deal."

So, how long would he expect Roethlisberger to sit? "Typically, with all the tricks we have to reduce the down time, it's a minimum of two weeks," Kaplan said. "If not, even up to six weeks if not treated aggressively."