Roethlisberger shrugs off false trade rumors

CLEVELAND – When Ian Rapoport of the “NFL Network” reported last week that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wanted traded, it immediately perked the ears of Browns fans everywhere.

Roethlisberger has been a thorn in the side of the Browns since arriving in the NFL in 2004. Entering Sunday’s game in Cleveland, the Steelers are 15-1 in games in which Roethlisberger has started.

Roethlisberger wasted little time in silencing the rumor. He reiterated his desire to continue his career with the Steelers during a conference call with Browns’ beat reporters Wednesday.

“It was all erroneous reports,” Roethlisberger said. “I don’t know where they came from. Completely false and made up. Pittsburgh is where I’m at and where I want to be forever.”

It was a strange rumor given that Roethlisberger has won two Super Bowls with the Steelers. They are in a down cycle as of now, but they have a history of turning things around quickly.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin handled the rumor in his characteristic, no-nonsense style.

“We’re not concerned about the rumors, to be honest with you, because we can’t control that,” Tomlin said. “His play has been really solid. It comes with the job. That’s something he embraces.”

NOT DONE: Browns quarterback Jason Campbell believes the players realize the season isn’t lost with a 4-6 record. He chalked up the loss to the Bengals has a weird day, from the game to a harrowing flight home into strong winds.

“During the course of the season you have games when everything doesn’t seem to be going right for us,” Campbell said. “That was one of those games that happened Sunday. The whole day was weird. Even the flight was weird.”

STEPPING IN: Linebacker Tank Carder might get a start on the inside because of a knee injury suffered by Craig Robertson. Carder stepped in when Robertson was removed last Sunday in Cincinnati.

Carder declined an opportunity to be interviewed prior to practice Wednesday.

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski believes Carder will fill in admirably.

“I think Tank did a solid job, particularly not getting a lot of reps during the week,” Chudzinski said. “He’s been a plus for us on special teams. I know in college he was a MVP in the Rose Bowl.”

ROSTER MOVES: The Browns placed receiver/return specialist Armanti Edwards on injured reserve with an ankle injury. Receiver Josh Cooper was promoted from the practice squad.

Cooper made the roster last season as a rookie free agent from Oklahoma State. He played in the first game of this season and was inactive the next three games. Cooper was waived Sept. 30 and then signed to the practice squad Oct. 7.

BABY STEPS: Rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo has been quiet since registering a sack in each of his first three game appearances. He’s had some struggles against the run and was part of the blocking breakdown that led to a blocked punt.

“It’s always a process,” Chudzinski said. “There are always going to be ups and downs, but generally you see improvement as a trend. Sometimes those things don’t show up on TV until you look at it afterward.”

INJURY REPORT: Not able to practice for the Browns were tight end MarQueis Gray (hamstring), Robertson and defensive lineman Armonty Bryant (back). Offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz (knee) was limited.

Not practicing for the Steelers were defensive end Brett Keisel (foot) and safety Shamarko Thomas (ankle). Guard Ramon Foster (ankle), tight end Heath Miller (non-injury), linebacker Stevenson Sylvester (hamstring), center Fernando Velasco (knee) and linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf) were limited.