The regular season is here, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are taking their practices at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the real work is now upon us, there is plenty left to be done.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they wade through a regular season in which they are, at least supposed to be, among the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
Question: Will Ben Roethlisberger practice in full this week?
Today’s question is a simple one, but a very important one. Will Ben Roethlisberger return to full participation in practice by Friday, which should set him up to be able to return to the field on Sunday against the Ravens?
Roethlisberger, of course, suffered a meniscus injury two weeks ago against the Dolphins, and he underwent an operation on it the following day. He was subsequently given, according to a variety of sources, a window of anywhere between two to six weeks of recovery time.
We are now already into the optimistic end of the window, with two weeks having passed, and the Steelers getting a break with one of those two weeks coming while they are on their bye, but with a big division game coming up, they would certainly like to have him back up and running to make a statement in the AFC North as the only team with more than three wins through their first eight games.
While the fact that he was able to throw the ball some last week in individual drills was obviously a big sign of optimism, that is a far cry from returning to full participation in practice, including a padded practice that they will be running this week.
Roethlisberger is in his mid-30s, and at this point of his career, in the middle of the regular season, he probably is not going to put himself in a position in which he is going to play if he doesn’t even practice during the week, which is something that he did earlier in his career.
Hopefully we will learn more about this matter tomorrow during Mike Tomlin’s press conference, as well as several other notable injuries. The bye week really did come at a good time for this Steelers team, given where they were from an injury standpoint, but Roethlisberger’s is certainly the most significant, given the importance of the quarterback position and the drop off from the starter to the backup.