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Roethlisberger Not Roethlisberger-Like During Career In First Game Back From Injury

The Pittsburgh Steelers hope to get injured starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back on Sunday for their home game against the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals barring any setbacks in practice this week with his left MCL. It’s a game that the Steelers really need to win if they want to have a legitimate shot at winning the AFC North this season.

It should be noted, however, that Roethlisberger, who has missed the last four games, hasn’t played Roethlisberger-like in his first game back from an injury during his long career. In fact, he’s only won twice in six attempts in situations such as that and has never thrown for more than 285 yards in a comeback game.

In 2005, Roethlisberger sustained a hyperextended left knee and a bone bruise late in the Week 5 win over the San Diego Chargers and that injury forced him to miss the Week 6 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He returned to the field in Week 7, however, to beat the Bengals 27-13. In that game, Roethlisberger completed just 9-of-14 pass attempts for 93 yards. He did throw two touchdown passes in that game to go along with one interception.

After a win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8, Roethlisberger needed a surgical procedure on the knee that he had injured earlier in the season and it resulted in him missing three games. When he returned to action in Week 12 against the Indianapolis Colts, he completed just 17-of-26 passes for 133 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in the Steelers 26-7 road loss.

In 2006, Roethlisberger missed the regular season opener due to him needing an emergency appendectomy. That surgery came on the heels of him fully recovering from his offseason motorcycle accident. In the Week 2 game against the Jaguars, Roethlisberger again had a dismal outing as he completed just 17 of his 32 pass attempts for 141 yards with two interceptions and the Steelers ultimately lost that road game 9-0.

Roethlisberger’s next missed game due to injury took place in Week 12 of the 2009 season as he was forced to sit out the game against the Baltimore Ravens due to a concussion. When he returned the following week for the home game against the Oakland Raiders, Roethlisberger completed 18-of-24 pass attempts for 278 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the Steelers 27-24 loss.

In 2011, Roethlisberger missed the team’s Week 16 game against the St. Louis Rams with a badly sprained left ankle that he suffered two weeks earlier and reaggravated in Week 15 against the San Francisco 49ers. While he did return for the Week 17 win over the Cleveland Browns, he completed just 23 of his 40 pass attempts for 221 yards in that game and failed to throw a touchdown.

In 2012, Roethlisberger again missed three consecutive games after suffering a sprained right shoulder and dislocated a rib in the Week 10 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. In his return to the field in Week 14 against the Chargers, Roethlisberger completed 22 of his 42 pass attempts for 285 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in the Steelers 34-24 home loss.

This year marks the first time in Roethlisberger’s career that he has missed four consecutive games due to an injury and we’ll find out if the extra week of recovery this time around produces more favorable results not only on the stat sheet, but the more important win-loss column.

Roethlisberger Career Passing Stats In First Game Back From Injury

YEAR WK OPP RESULT COMP ATT PCT YDS AVG TD INT SCK RATE
2012 14 SD L 24-34 22 42 52.4 285 6.8 3 1 2 87.9
2011 17 @ CLE W 13-9 23 40 57.5 221 5.5 0 0 2 73.0
2009 13 OAK L 24-27 18 24 75.0 278 11.6 2 1 1 123.3
2006 2 @ JAC L 0-9 17 32 53.1 141 4.4 0 2 2 38.7
2005 12 @ IND L 7-26 17 26 65.4 133 5.1 1 2 3 58.7
2005 7 @ CIN W 27-13 9 14 64.3 93 6.6 2 1 1 93.2
TOTALS    106 178 59.6 1151 6.5 8 7 11 77.2
AVG    17.7 29.7 59.6 191.8 6.5 1.3 1.2 1.8 77.2
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