SAN FRANCISCO -- Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is expected to start tonight against the San Francisco 49ers -- and the decision had nothing to with the Baltimore Ravens' loss Sunday night in San Diego that put the Steelers back in control of the AFC North Division.
The Steelers reached the decision to start Roethlisberger before the Ravens' 34-14 loss to the Chargers. That means the Steelers win the division title and get a first-round playoff bye if they win their remaining three games.
Roethlisberger has a Grade I ankle sprain and didn't practice until Saturday, and even then on a limited basis. But he moved around well enough to convince the coaches and medical staff he is able to play.
The Steelers had already clinched a playoff spot Sunday when the Tennessee Titans lost to the Indianapolis Colts.
Gerry Dulac: firstname.lastname@example.org ; twitter: @gerrydulac.