The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback rumors are heating up, with reports that Ben Roethlisberger could push to return this week and send Landry Jones back to the bench.
The Steelers turned to Jones last week after Michael Vick’s ineffective play, and the second-year quarterback was up to the task of defeating the Arizona Cardinals. Earlier this week it looked as if the Steelers would roll with Jones for a second week, but the outlook on Roethlisberger is currently much different.
While the rumors surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback situation are not entirely clear, it seems very likely that Roethlisberger would still be playing hurt if he did return to the field.
“The pain will still be there for a while,” Roethlisberger said Wednesday (via WPXI). “There is still a lot of blood moving around from what the doctors tell me. I can deal with pain. Adrenaline helps with that.”
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) October 21, 2015
The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is already moving toward a return. He took part in 7-on-7 drills in practice last week, and has been slowly doing more on the field in anticipation of his return.
But, if he does come back early, Roethlisberger could be in a limited capacity and the team may tailor the offense to his limitations. He could be less mobile, as well. Roethlisberger would be wearing a knee brace if he does play on Sunday, and it would be the first time in his career he’s done so.
Roethlisberger said he was testing out different types of braces, but was uneasy about the thought of it.
“I have no idea what it’s like to run and move,” he said. “Will I hurt my other leg? I’m not really sure yet.”
The Steelers appear to be preparing for all options. Coach Mike Tomlin said the team is still building a gameplan around Landry Jones, who led four straight scoring drives against the Cardinals.
The Steelers also have to balance their plans for the rest of the season with their desire to win this week. They are playing the Chiefs, who are 1-5 and just lost their best offensive weapon in Jamaal Charles. The Steelers would still be heavy favorites, even with Jones at quarterback.
Ben Roethlisberger limited again today, Todd Haley says he’s planning on Landry Jones starting https://t.co/y7tbPKJwvo
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 22, 2015
Roethlisberger’s teammates weren’t too keen on rushing him back, either.
“They are going to be smart with him,” center Cody Wallace said about Roethlisberger. “They’ll do what’s best for him as far as his long-term health. We need him for that long stretch at the end of the season.”
If Jones does play, it would be the first start of his NFL career. The Steelers appear ready to move beyond Michael Vick, who looked ineffective at running the normally high-powered offense.
But, the game is still a very important one. At 4-2, the Steelers are looking to stay in the running for the AFC North against the division-leading Cincinnati Bengals.
The Steelers could have at least one advantage. The team’s fans travel well, and have reportedly snatched up a big chunk of tickets from the disheartened Chiefs season ticket holders.
It’s something the Steelers players have noticed, too.
“I definitely think it’s consistent that you see Steelers fans at away games all the time,” Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell said. “There are Steelers fans all over the world and it definitely gets us amped when we come out for warm-ups knowing we’ve still got fans in the stands. It’s definitely a good deal for us.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers rumors are still leaning toward Landry Jones, with sources saying that Ben Roethlisberger would be doubtful at best.
[Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images]