Roethlisberger hopes to return against Ravens
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said there’s still pain two weeks after undergoing surgery to repair the meniscus in his left knee, but he isn’t ruling himself out of Sunday’s game at Baltimore.
“You have surgery two weeks ago, there’s going to be a little bit (of pain),” Roethlisberger said.
“But listen, anybody in this locker room who’s not feeling pain hasn’t been on the football field. Everyone’s feeling pain right now.”
Roethlisberger took first-team snaps while practicing in a limited capacity on Wednesday. He practiced in a limited capacity last week and again on Monday.
Roethlisberger said it is important to feel comfortable on the field, protect himself in the pocket and keep the swelling down on his surgically repaired knee.
“I’m going to take it one day at a time,” Roethlisberger said. “When I feel healthy and ready to go, I’ll be ready.”
Roethlisberger said the decision on whether or not he can play will be made by coach Mike Tomlin. Swelling has not been an issue so far though Roethlisberger will continue to remain in contact with team physician Dr. James Bradley and monitor his knee as he ramps up his workload.
“Dr. Bradley said I’ve gone through this before so my body will tell me best how I feel,” Roethlisberger said.
Roethlisberger injured his left knee during a loss against Miami and was initially expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks following the surgery. He underwent surgery the following day and missed a home loss against New England the next Sunday, though he jogged onto the field to greet his defensive teammates and was spotted walking in the locker room without a limp.
Roethlisberger began throwing passes during individual portions of practice two days later, just eight days after surgery. He practiced some with the first team and scout team on Monday, two weeks after his procedure, and again on Wednesday.
“I’m not sure how he feels, but he looked good,” offensive lineman Ramon Foster said. “His health and how he’s feeling, we’re going to determine that at the rest of the week, but he looked like Ben.”
The Steelers will go with fourth-year veteran Landry Jones if Roethlisberger can’t play. Jones played respectably during a 27-16 loss against New England on Oct. 23, throwing for 281 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
“I’m just going to prepare like I have been this whole season,” Jones said. “(Ben) is kind of feeling good. I don’t know what his plan is this week as far as all that goes, but for me, it’s the same old type of deal, just preparing and getting ready to go.”
Jones said he is OK if it takes the entire week to decide whether or not Roethlisberger is healthy enough to start.
“That’s kind of what I’m expecting,” Jones said. “Typically, that’s how it’s worked out in the past, just seeing how he feels the entire week and then making the decision.”
Running back Le’Veon Bell liked how Roethlisberger looked on Wednesday, but he cautioned an early return.
“I don’t know exactly how he feels, but he looked good,” Bell said. “We’re always pushing for him to come back, but I want him to take his time.
“I want to make sure he’s good when he does come back and he doesn’t have any setbacks, whether it’s in practice or a game because it’s a long season.”
Since 2004, the Steelers are 11-8 against Baltimore when Roethlisberger plays and 1-6 when he has missed, including playoffs.
The Ravens have won five of the past six against Pittsburgh and 12 games in the past 10 years of the rivalry have been decided by 1 to 3 points.
Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, who intends to play despite tearing his left biceps on Oct. 16, believes Roethlisberger will play.
“Tell Ben he’s not fooling anybody,” Suggs said on a conference call. “I’ve seen this movie too many times before. We know we’ll see No. 7.”
NOTES: G David DeCastro (not injury related) and C Cody Wallace (knee) did not participate in Wednesday’s practice, while RB DeAngelo Williams (knee) was limited. .WR Antonio Brown (hip), OT Marcus Gilbert (ankle), DE Cameron Heyward (hamstring), S Shamarko Thomas (groin) and WR Markus Wheaton (shoulder) were full participants. Gilbert missed the previous three games, while Heyward sat out the past two. Wheaton is dealing with a lingering shoulder issue and missed four of the Steelers’ first seven games, including the previous two.