NFL: Painful win for Pittsburgh Steelers, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger needed only one good leg for Pittsburgh to continue its mastery of Cleveland.

The Steelers quarterback played through a painful high ankle sprain in the second half to pass for 280 yards and two touchdowns, the last a 79-yard scoring strike to Antonio Brown with 2:52 left to help the host Steelers win for the eighth time in nine games — 14-3 on Thursday night.

Roethlisberger went to the locker room for X-rays after a second-quarter sack but returned to start the second half, passing for 178 yards after the break. he has already played through a sprained left foot and a fractured right thumb this season.

Pittsburgh (10-3) moved a half-game ahead of Baltimore in the AFC North.

Colt McCoy passed for 209 yards but also threw two interceptions for the Browns (4-9), who lost for the 15th time in their last 16 meetings with the Steelers.

Colts: Team owner Jim Irsay confirmed what most have long suspected: Peyton Manning probably won’t take a snap this season. Irsay told an Indianapolis TV station that he “doesn’t see” even a glimmer of hope of getting the quarterback back on the field this year. Manning hasn’t even thrown with teammates since having neck surgery Sept. 8, and there’s only four games left for the winless Colts.

Vikings: Running back Adrian Peterson returned to practice on a limited basis, but quarterback Christian Ponder (hip pointer) didn’t practice, which is jeopardizes his chance to play Sunday at Detroit. Peterson has missed the past two games with an ankle injury.

Rams: Sam Bradford didn’t practice for the second straight day because of a high ankle sprain, but the quarterback is hopeful of playing Monday at Seattle. Backup A.J. Feeley has already ruled himself out this week because of a fractured thumb on his throwing hand, so Tom Brandstater would go if Bradford can’t.

Bears: Running back Matt Forte plans to use former teammate Tommie Harris’ $20,000 hyperbaric chamber to expedite the recovery process after he suffered a sprained ligament in his knee last week against Kansas City. Coach Lovie Smith expects Forte back before season’s end, and the target appears to be Dec. 25 at Green Bay.

Chargers: San Diego said former linebacker Lew Bush — who played with the team for seven seasons and was part of its lone Super Bowl team in 1994 — died. The Chargers said in a statement that Bush, 42, died of an apparent heart attack. It’s not clear where Bush died — public records show he lived in San Diego and he had been part of the Chargers’ radio broadcast team. He’s the seventh player from the Chargers’ Super Bowl team — which lost 49-26 to the 49ers — who has died.

Etc.: The league added eight regional combines to the main combine it stages in Indianapolis. The regional combines will begin Jan. 28 in Los Angeles.

MCT Information Services contributed to this report.

NFL: Painful win for Pittsburgh Steelers, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger

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NFL: Painful win for Pittsburgh Steelers, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger

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