National Football League
              === Steelers classify Roethlisberger as probable ===
 Pittsburgh,   PA  (Sports  Network)  -  Ben  Roethlisberger's  return  to  the
 Pittsburgh  Steelers  following a three-week  absence appears all but assured,
 with  the team  listing the  star quarterback  as probable  for Sunday's  game
 against San Diego.
 Head   coach  Mike   Tomlin  had   previously  announced   on  Thursday   that
 Roethlisberger,  who's been  sidelined with  injuries  to his  ribs and  right
 shoulder  sustained in a Nov. 12 win over Kansas City, would start against the
 Chargers after practicing fully for a second straight day.
 Byron Leftwich replaced Roethlisberger in the following week's matchup against
 Baltimore,  a 13-10  Pittsburgh loss, but fractured a rib in that game. Third-
 stringer  Charlie  Batch then  guided  the  offense in  a  Week  12 defeat  at
 Cleveland  and directed  a fourth-quarter comeback in this past Sunday's 23-20
 road victory over the AFC North-leading Ravens.
 With  Leftwich questionable for Sunday's test, Batch could serve as the backup
 to Roethlisberger against the Chargers.
 Pittsburgh  did formally rule out cornerback Ike Taylor and LaMarr Woodley for
 the contest, as well as rookie offensive tackle Mike Adams.
 Taylor  may miss  the  remainder  of the  regular  season  after exiting  last
 Sunday's  clash with the Ravens with a significant ankle injury, while Woodley
 will  sit  out a second  straight game with  a sprained ankle suffered against
 Cleveland.  Adams also  did not play last  week due to an ankle problem of his
 12/07 16:29:24 ET