Thursday: 7:20 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium (Ch. 9 and KFAN-FM 100.3)
ABOUT THE STEELERS
• The Steelers (6-5-1) scored 17 fourth-quarter points in a comeback win against the Ravens on Sunday, keeping Pittsburgh in the middle of a tight AFC playoff race where 13 teams have at least six wins. Left guard B.J. Finney suffered a back injury in the win and didn't practice this week.
• Receiver Diontae Johnson caught two touchdowns in Pittsburgh's comeback. He's one of the surest bets to get the ball with 120 targets in 12 games, trailing only the Rams' Cooper Kupp, Chiefs' Tyreek Hill and Chargers' Keenan Allen this season.
• Running back Najee Harris, the 24th overall pick out of Alabama, leads all NFL rookies with 1,166 yards from scrimmage. His seven touchdowns trail only Bengals rookie receiver Ja'Marr Chase's eight. Harris is also Pittsburgh's second receiver with 57 catches.
• Edge rusher T.J. Watt was credited with 3.5 sacks against the Ravens, his fifth multi-sack game of the season. The younger Watt leads the NFL with 16 sacks despite missing two games. Although injuries to veterans Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu and Joe Haden have thinned Pittsburgh's defense.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT | QB Ben Roethlisberger
• Roethlisberger, 39, isn't the same rocket-armed Pro Bowler in his 18th NFL season. He told reporters this offseason he'd undergone "total reconstruction" of his throwing elbow in 2019, preceding his aim becoming shallower.
• Nobody gets the ball out quicker, and few throw it shallower downfield, than Roethlisberger this season. He's thrown for 2,758 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. While he's only tossed multiple touchdowns in four games, three have come within the past month.
• When asked about reports that this would be his last NFL season, Roethlisberger retorted, "I haven't told everybody that." He added: "I'm exhausted and we play in a couple of hours it feels like, so that's my focus. My focus is on Minnesota and what we have to do to get ready. I'll address any of that stuff after the season."
• Roethlisberger on how his arm is feeling: "It's my shoulder that hurts more than my elbow. My elbow feels great thanks to the doctors. It's just dealing with after throwing — wish someone would keep track, I've thrown a million throws in my life, so at some point your shoulder starts to wear down a little bit."
COACH SPEAK | Mike Tomlin
• Tomlin has never had a losing season, and the Steelers remain above .500 toward the end of his 15th year leading the team. Only the Patriots' Bill Belichick and Saints' Sean Payton have longer tenure than Tomlin among NFL head coaches.
• The Steelers have a 151-83-2 record (.644) in the regular season under Tomlin, and are 8-8 in nine playoff appearances with two Super Bowl appearances and one championship (2008 season). The former Vikings coordinator has never overseen a Steelers defense that ranked worse than 18th in points allowed for a season; they're currently ranked 21st.
• On Diontae Johnson, who has two drops after dropping 14 passes last year: "It's just maturation. He's becoming a veteran guy, so it's reasonable to expect for him to get better physically and get better intellectually, knowing and understanding the game and using that knowledge for his good. Also being able to withstand the ups and downs."
• On changing his approach in a short week in his 15th season: "Last year we had a very veteran group; this year we have a very young group in a lot of ways. It probably leads you to approach it in a different manner because of the lack of experience of many key components of our group, whether they're new to the NFL or to us."