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NFL notes: Roethlisberger to start for Steelers

Associated Press Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will start Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. Roethlisberger missed the last three weeks with a sprained right shoulder and dislocated rib but practiced for the second consecutive day Thursday without incident. Roethlisberger said he felt “good” but declined to go into details. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley said Roethlisberger can make all the necessary throws. Roethlisberger will play with a custom-fit rib/chest compression shirt and a layer of Kevlar-lined composite in his shoulder pads to help absorb hits to his clavicle and shoulder joint regions. The padding — about a half-inch thick— in Roethlisberger’s shoulder pads is similar to the gear the company puts in its chest protectors for baseball catchers. Whatever he’s wearing, the Steelers (7-5) are eager to have him back on the field. Roethlisberger took “90 percent” of the first-team snaps on Thursday without any major issues. The Steelers went 1-2 in Roethlisberger’s absence, including a 23-20 victory over Baltimore last week behind backup Charlie Batch. Pittsburgh is tied with Cincinnati for the AFC’s final wild-card spot.

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