As many expected, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger struggled in his first game back from injury in Sunday’s loss at Baltimore. Roethlisberger completed just 51% of his passes for 264 yards alongside 1 passing touchdown and 1 interception. With the Steelers now losers of three in a row and sitting at 4-4, many have begun to become uneasy as they wonder just how long it will take Roethlisberger to shed his struggles.
It would be truly remarkable if Roethlisberger is able to piece together a high-caliber performance this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, unfortunately history is not on his side. Dave Bryan covered Roethlisberger’s struggles in his second game back from injury earlier this week here.
Just when can we expect Roethlisberger to return to top form then? Below is a list of every Roethlisberger game back from injury until he was able to post a 100.0 Quarterback Rating. In two of those occasions, Roethlisberger was unable to post a 100.0 Quarterback Rating because he was either re-injured or the Steelers were eliminated from the playoffs.
All games that included both a Steelers victory and Roethlisberger posting a 100.0 or higher QBR are highlighted in grey. The pattern noticed below is that all of these games happen to be either Roethlisberger’s third or fourth game back from injury. Throwing for 12 touchdowns and just 1 interception in the highlighted games shows that Roethlisberger has been able to get back into top form by the third or fourth game back from injury.
The table also allows an opportunity to filter based on injury type which can give an easier outlook on judging Roethlisberger struggles moving forward. With Roethlisberger recovering from meniscus surgery this season, a look at all knee injuries in the table can give us a better guess on Roethlisberger’s progress.
Roethlisberger’s return from knee surgery in 2005 and knee injury last season both have Roethlisberger returning to form during his third game back from injury. This data would mean that a return to form for Roethlisberger against the Cowboys this Sunday is unlikely but is highly probable next Sunday when facing the currently winless Cleveland Browns.