Big Ben to start in limited action on Friday

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Even though he has been limited in practice the past four days because of a groin injury, Ben Roethlisberger will start and probably play no more than one series in Friday night's preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field, Coach Mike Tomlin said this morning.

Tomlin said all four quarterbacks are scheduled to play against the Eagles, with the order being Roethlisberger, veteran Charlie Batch, rookie Dennis Dixon and free-agent rookie Mike Potts. Tomlin, though, said Roethlisberger will "probably not" play more than a series.

Four players have already been ruled out of the game -- Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu, Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton, safety Anthony Smith and tight end Cody Boyd. Polamalu and Hampton remain on the physically unable to perform list.

Rookie Rashard Mendenhall, the team's No. 1 draft pick, is among three players who are scheduled to return kickoffs, along with newcomer Mewelde Moore and wide receiver Willie Reid.

Moore, who was signed in free agency from the Vikings, will return punts with former Pro Bowl returner Eddie Drummond, who was signed last week; and former Olympic skier Jeremy Bloom.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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