The Steelers will play to win against the Browns, coach Mike Tomlin said, even though they have already clinched the AFC North title and cannot improve their playoff position with a victory Sunday.
The Steelers will be without free safety Ryan Clark (shoulder) and left tackle Marvel Smith (back) because of injuries. Everyone else that is healthy will play in the 1 p.m. game, Tomlin said today at his weekly news conference.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (sprained ankle) and outside linebacker James Harrison
(hip pointer) will be limited in practice this week, but Tomlin said both are expected to play in Sunday's regular-season finale at Heinz Field.
Tomlin was emphatic that he won't treat the Browns game different than any other even though it represents an opportunity to rest some of the Steelers' starters.
When asked if Roethlisberger will play the entire game Tomlin said, "We're playing."
The Steelers are 11-4 and have wrapped up the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs as well as a first-round bye.
By Scott Brown
Tuesday, December 23, 2008