CLEVELAND - Ben Roethlisberger has played on one leg before and he's willing to do it again.
Roethlisberger has never let pain stop him, and Pittsburgh's tough-as-the-steel city-he-plays-in quarterback certainly won't let it slow him this week. Not now, not with a possible division title and playoff seed at stake.
Let's face it, the Steelers just aren't the Steelers without him.
Despite a high ankle sprain that has limited his mobility and would probably sideline lesser QBs, Roethlisberger intends to play Sunday - at least at the start - as the Steelers (11-4) play their regular-season finale against the Browns (4-11), who never doubted for a second that they would have to deal with Pittsburgh's top gun as well.
"Big Ben, we've always got to count on seeing him," Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson said.
They can also count on seeing Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who three weeks ago blasted quarterback Colt McCoy with his helmet and hasn't shown much repentance for his illegal hit that gave McCoy a season-ending concussion.
This one's big for the Steelers, who must win to keep pace with Baltimore (11-4) atop the AFC North.
The Ravens hold the tiebreaker after beating the Steelers twice during the regular season, so Pittsburgh needs to beat Cleveland and hope Cincinnati can knock off Baltimore.
If that happened, the Steelers will have their fourth division title in five years. If both teams win, the Ravens are champions.
If the Steelers win and the Ravens and New England Patriots lose, Pittsburgh will be the No. 1 seed and play at home throughout the postseason. If Pittsburgh loses and Baltimore wins, the Steelers will be the No. 5 seed and play on the road in the wild-card round.
With both games starting at 4:15 p.m., Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace said it will be tough not to sneak a peek at the score going on in Ohio's other NFL outpost.
"It's gonna be hard not to look at it because those guys [the Ravens] are determining which seed we'll be in the playoffs," the speedster said. "But we can't worry about that and we can't be scoreboard watching and lose our game. We need to focus in on our game and handle our business and then the chips gonna fall where they fall. If we have to go on the West Coast or whatever, that's what we'll do."
Three weeks ago against Cleveland, Roethlisberger had his left ankle twisted grotesquely on a sack late in the first half by the Browns, who must have thought he was done for the game when Roethlisberger hobbled off the field carrying his shoe and had to be carted to the locker room.
But as halftime ended, No. 7 came back on the field.
Roethlisberger returned and despite being so heavily taped that he moved only slightly faster than a statue, he led the Steelers to a 14-3 win over the Browns, who for some reason chose not to blitz him as much after halftime.
A week later, Roethlisberger gutted it out as long as he could in a 20-3 loss to San Francisco before turning things over to backup Charlie Batch last week against St. Louis.
Despite reports earlier this week out of Pittsburgh that Roethlisberger only had "a shot" to play, Browns coach Pat Shurmur figured he'd heal enough to be ready for the finale.
"I watched him get hurt in our game, go to the locker room then come out and continue to play," said Shurmur, who is 0-5 in his first season inside the brutal AFC North. "Then, I watched him against the 49ers go out and play. He's a tough soul."
Ideally, the Steelers would like to build a big, early lead so they can rest Roethlisberger for the playoffs, which depending on how things go elsewhere, could start as early as next week for the black and gold.
For Cleveland, the postseason remains a pipe dream - again.
Unlike their rivals from Western Pennsylvania, the Browns are infrequent visitors to the playoffs. In fact, they haven't made them since 2002, when they lost to the Steelers.
Another painful, dreadful season is coming to a close and Sunday's game could be especially difficult for Browns fans, who may be outnumbered the Terrible Towel-twirling Steelers faithful.
The Browns have lost five straight, eight of nine and are facing their sixth season of at least 12 losses since 1999.
But a win over the dreaded Steelers would at least make the offseason a little brighter.
"When we look at the tape next year, this is the game people are going to remember, against the Steelers," wide receiver Josh Cribbs said. "If we win this, we can rest easy. This is our Super Bowl, against the Steelers. Right here. Right now."
Browns backup QB Seneca Wallace will start his third straight game in place of McCoy, who still hasn't completely shaken the effects from the hit from Harrison. This will be Wallace's first career start against the Steelers and their No. 1-ranked defense - led by Harrison.
Wallace said he's not worried about running into No. 92, and what could happen if he does.
"You've just got to go out and play football," he said. "Everybody's hitting. You (media) guys give him this aura where he's the meanest guy in the NFL. He's playing football. At the end of the day when you get on the grass and you line up across from somebody, we're all doing the same thing."
The Browns aren't planning revenge on Harrison even though he has given three Browns - McCoy, Cribbs and wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi - concussions in the past two years. The only retribution they're seeking is a win to damage Pittsburgh's postseason position.
"This is our playoffs in a sense," Jackson said. "We want to come out and play our best game, so we can go out and have something to talk about in the offseason. The last impression stretches a mile long. That's our main focus and that's the focus to the young guys in this locker room - just to do whatever you can and make the most of it."