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Ben Roethlisberger 'not getting hopes up,' but he's still on track to play

PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger said he's "not getting my hopes up" for Sunday's game against Cincinnati.

I honestly wouldn't read too much into that.

Mike Tomlin said he expects Roethlisberger to play. He's not alone in that feeling. Even Marvin Lewis expects him to play. Now, if there's a setback in practice this week, then, yes, it's possible he sits for the fifth straight games.

Otherwise, he plays. There's no reason to doubt that right now.

Here was Ben's 'hopes up' quote: "We have to take it one day at a time. That’s why I’m not getting my hopes up Sunday. I’m getting my hopes up for today.”

The important thing is Roethlisberger will be a full participant in Wednesday's practice, which is a graduation from last week's limited status. The fact he's a full go this early in the week is a positive sign, and echoes what Tomlin said.

"We don't have any reservations or limitations about his ability," Tomlin told reporters on Tuesday. "As I sit here today, we're comfortable where he is in his overall ability. We're going to need him, obviously."

The Steelers failed to score more than 25 points in any of their four games without Roethlisberger, who does make a good point regarding his recovery.

He needs to be fully functional to take the field against Cincinnati.

"If there’s a restriction, I shouldn't be out there," said Roethlisberger, who added he felt some pain from last week's work.

The Cincinnati game was always the sweet spot for a return -- 35 days into a four- to six-week injury. No reason to think otherwise based on what we know.