Sept. 20, 2015, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback
Ben Roethlisberger (7) walks on the sidelines during the
second half of an NFL football game againstthe San Francisco
49ers in Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger is back. The Steelers
hope their high-powered offense picks up where it left off
when he went down with a sprained left knee a month ago.
PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger
is back for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Coach Mike Tomlin confirmed the
news on Tuesday, saying the two-time Super Bowl-winning
quarterback is preparing to play Sunday against unbeaten
Cincinnati after missing four games with a sprained knee and
"We don't have any
reservations or limitations about his availability," Tomlin
said. "As I sit here today, we are comfortable with where he
is in his overall availability this week."
Roethlisberger initially feared the
worst after he left in the third quarter of a September win at St.
Louis, but he was relieved to learn the injury didn't end his
Now, he's returning on the early
end of the four-to-six week timetable that was projected, and just
Pittsburgh, which went 2-2 without
Roethlisberger, is 4-3 overall and 2½ games behind the Bengals
for the top spot in the AFC North.
Roethlisberger lobbied to play two
weeks ago against Arizona, returning to 7-on-7 work and pushed
harder last week prior to Sunday's game at Kansas City.
He practiced in a limited capacity
for three days last week and was listed as questionable on the
injury report before the Steelers gave Landry Jones his first NFL
start after he sparked the team to a come-from-behind win a week
The Steelers hope for the same
boost from Roethlisberger.
He mentioned some discomfort in his
knee late last week. Tomlin said the Steelers will keep an eye on
their franchise quarterback during practice to make sure there
aren't any setbacks.
"I'm not going to monitor it
personally," Tomlin said. "I'll let Ben and the medical
staff take care of that business, and I'll just check in with
those guys periodically, like I always do over the course of a
Tomlin said Roethlisberger's
ability to move is taken into consideration when game-planning,
but he doesn't anticipate any issues.
"At this juncture, we're not
going to assume Ben will be limited from a mobility
standpoint," Tomlin said.
It also shouldn't be assumed that
Roethlisberger will be able to step in and immediately perform
like the elite-level quarterback, who ranked at the top or among
the league leaders in several key statistical categories prior to
There may be a rust factor involved
as Roethlisberger appeared in all 16 games the previous two
seasons, but never missed more than four in a season.
"There's always concern in
that regard anytime someone is coming off an injury, but we're not
going to lose a lot of sleep over that," Tomlin said.
"Ben has played a lot of ball for us, he has great continuity
and recall from his time in the system.
"He'll have a full week of
preparation, and he participated in a partial capacity a week ago.
Hopefully, all of these things will allow him to push past some of
the anxiety associated with getting back there."
The Steelers are just happy to see
their franchise quarterback return, particularly in a key division
game against unbeaten Cincinnati.
"We are going to need
him," Tomlin said. "Cincinnati is really rolling on all
cylinders right now."
NOTES: Steelers LB Terence Garvin
will be out a couple of weeks with an MCL sprain. ... Steelers CB
William Gay could be limited in practice after suffering a
shoulder injury Sunday against Kansas City. ... Steelers DE
Stephon Tuitt (knee) and S Will Allen (ankle) could return to
practice after missing Sunday's game.