From all the sounds of it, Ben Roethlisberger is going to give it the old college try this week to get back on the field for the Steelers matchup Sunday in Kansas City vs the Chiefs.
“We’re going to tape it and brace it and I’m going to see what I can do,” Roethlisberger said Monday.
“My plan is to go out Wednesday and practice. We’ll see what happens. I know I’ve got to be smart about it. I’ve got to be able to defend myself. We’re just going to take it day by day.”
I for one am glad he said that he’s going to ‘be smart about it,’ as the team is already showing they can win without Big Ben, something they rarely did in past seasons.
The team should be 3-0 this season without Big Ben, and would be if the team had kicker Chris Boswell a week earlier when they played the Ravens at Heinz Field.
Nevertheless, the team is 4-2, and the defense is starting to make a sound statement as one of the surprises in the NFL just over a third into the season.
Sunday in Pittsburgh the team played a red-hot Arizona Cardinals team, a team that came into Heinz putting up nearly 40 points a game in their first five matchups.
They left Heinz 4-2 as opposed to 5-1, having scored just 13 points on a day when it looked like they were ready to have a big afternoon based on the difference in the stats in the first 30 minutes.
Pressuring or pressing Ben back into action at this point is clearly not a good idea.
The club can beat the Chiefs without him.
They already pulled off a miracle on the road in the final play against the Chargers, and Sunday showed heart and guts in a 25-13 win over Arizona.
When Roethlisberger was injured in 2012 back in a game against the same Chiefs team the Steelers play Sunday, he sat out three games while the team went 1-2.
The team had beaten Baltimore in what was Charlie Batch’s last game as a starter on the final play 27-24 and had a lot of momentum sitting at 7-5 and looking like a team that could be a threat in the AFC playoffs.
Roethlisberger returned the following week, and the club lost three straight, the final of which was a 13-10 heartbreaker in which Ben threw a late pick and the Bengals won 13-10 to clinch the division and knock the Steelers from the playoffs.
While it would be good to think a game against the Chiefs would be a good warm up for the showdown with the Bengals the following week at Heinz Field, it would likely be better for him to get another week of rest leading up to it.
Landry Jones did enough against a good team Sunday to earn a start against the Chiefs. Let him have it – and let Ben continue to get healthy for the last two important months of 2015 when playoff teams are made.