The Pittsburgh Steelers are rumored to be getting Ben Roethlisberger back ahead of schedule, as their franchise quarterback just got an upgrade on the injury update and could have a better chance at playing on Sunday.
The quarterback, who injured his knee in a Week 3 win over the St. Louis Rams, has been pushing for a return and originally had an outside chance of returning this week against the Kansas City Chiefs. Not the outlook appears to have gotten a bit brighter, with the Steelers updating the injury list on Friday and noting that Roethlisberger is now questionable for the game. He had been listed as doubtful before.
OUT: W. Allen, Tuitt, Vick QUEST: C. Allen, Roethlisberger PROB: Blake, Gay, Harrison, J. Jones, Shazier and Spaeth
— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) October 23, 2015
It’s not clear how close Roethlisberger is to playing, but coach Mike Tomlin said the team is preparing for all options. If Roethlisberger can’t play, the Steelers would be turning to former third-stringer Landry Jones, as Michael Vick has already been ruled out.
Ben Roethlisberger listed as questionable https://t.co/OdGNq5wjT9
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 23, 2015
Ben Roethlisberger had been pushing for a return, but noted that it’s been going slowly. He would need to wear a knee brace, something Roethlisberger said he’s never done before. Roethlisberger said he was nervous about the idea of it, saying he has no idea how well he would run and move while wearing the brace.
“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.”
Roethlisberger’s teammates don’t seem 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.”
Other Pittsburgh Steelers players noted that Roethlisberger looked sharp at practice this week. But many sources close to the team believe it is still unlikely that he plays on Sunday, as the Steelers don’t want to rush him back and risk further injury.
In the past Roethlisberger has come in on a Sat and sat down with Mike Tomlin and ended up playing. Unlikely now but not impossible — Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 23, 2015
It would be a boost to the Steelers if Roethlisberger could be on the field. The team needs a win to keep pace in the AFC North, where the Cincinnati Bengals sit at 6-0.
If Roetlisberger can’t go, the Steelers appear more than ready to lean on Landry Jones in what would be his first career start. He looked crisp in his relief appearance last week, connecting on eight of 12 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns, leading the team to a win over the Arizona Cardinals.
8/12 168 yards 2 TDs 149.3 passer rating Well okay, Landry Jones. pic.twitter.com/tJTk1baGus
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) October 18, 2015
Jones’ teammates said they are ready to support the third-year player in his what likely will be his first career start.
“That’s what it looks like,” starting left guard Ramon Foster said after Friday’s practice (via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). “He got all the reps. I think Ben will be a phone booth just waiting to participate if called upon. We’re just waiting to see what the dressing situation looks like, but it looks like it’s Landry for right now.”
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, the quarterback rumors may not become clear until close to kickoff. Ben Roethlisberger looks to be a game time decision.
[Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images]