Charlie Batch is started at quarterback for the Steelers today, but they could have Ben Roethlisberger back on the field next week when they travel to Baltimore.  Read more after the jump.

Shay Marie

Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported Sunday morning that doctors think there’s no longer a risk of further injury because of the dislocated rib he suffered against the Chiefs in Week 10. There was a fear that the rib could pose a threat to arteries and blood vessels if Roethlisberger returned too soon from the injury. Per Mortensen’s report, he’s out of the woods on that front and ready to start working toward a return to game action.

Roethlisberger, who also suffered a shoulder injury, will begin soft tossing a football this week and the team will monitor his range of motion. If all checks out on that front and Roethlisberger is able to tolerate any pain, it could lead to a return to action in Week 13 against the Ravens.

There were reports that Roethlisberger could miss three weeks when he was initially injured, but his return was always contingent on when the rib healed enough for the other risks to go away. Variables still abound for Roethlisberger’s return, but this is a step in the right direction for the Steelers a week ahead a game that promises to go a long way toward determining Pittsburgh’s playoff future.

Josh Alper for ProFootballTalk