Banged-up Big Ben expected to return

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has worked out without problems since missing Sunday night's game in Baltimore with a concussion and is expected to play Sunday against Oakland.

Roethlisberger was held out of the 20-17 overtime loss to the Ravens after having post-practice headaches Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. A team doctor recommended Saturday that the quarterback not play, and coach Mike Tomlin agreed.

Meanwhile, Steelers receiver Hines Ward apologized for openly questioning Roethlisberger’s toughness, saying he spoke emotionally without knowing a doctor recommended the quarterback sit out.

Ward talked Monday with Roethlisberger and Tomlin in separate conversations, expressing regret for saying during a pregame NBC-TV interview that the locker room was split 50-50 whether the quarterback should play in Baltimore.

Extra points

Tight end Brent Celek signed a six-year contract extension with the Philadelphia Eagles. In his first full season as a starter, Celek is tied for seventh in receptions (54), fifth in yards (601), and tied for fourth in touchdowns (5) among all NFL tight ends. … The late Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas will be the 10th player in Kansas City history to have his number retired. The Chiefs will retire No. 58 on Sunday during halftime of their game against Denver. … Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez worked on his sliding technique with Yankees manager Joe Girardi. Jets coach Rex Ryan wants Sanchez to make a conscious effort to slide and avoid potential injuries. … The Falcons released kicker Jason Elam, a 17-year veteran. … A strained hip has ended the season for 49ers rookie safety Curtis Taylor. … The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed punter Sam Paulescu to replace injured Dirk Johnson. … The Eagles signed receiver Jordan Norwood off their practice squad and released cornerback Ramzee Robinson.