Roethlisberger Returns For Steelers: How Much Does He Play?


Take that hoodie off son and put on some pads. You’re going in. Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has the start this Sunday when they face off against the Chargers at Heinz Field.  The doctors gave him at least three weeks before returning to the field since he sustained that complicated shoulder and rib injury.  And, even though I’m sure the Tony Starks technology of keeping that ticker going exists out there with an Arc Reactor, the Rooney’s have their spending limits….

Big Ben undoubtedly is still in pain.  The rib must be healed or at least non-threatening to his heart else the doctors would not have cleared him for contact.  The injury is his throwing shoulder, and if you haven’t noticed quick release and zip on the ball are two key elements for success in Todd Haley’s offense.  Will there be limitations to what he can do with the football?  Will we have another Leftwich situation on our hands again – a la play hurt enough that you hurt the team’s chances of winning too?

My gut says he’s healed enough and won’t hurt this team anymore than he is hurt himself.  My gut also says that I shouldn’t worry about him taking hits because if the offensive line plays the way they did last week, he’ll be just fine.  The retooled line did a bang up job of keeping Charlie Batch from getting banged up when they faced the Ravens last week.  They gave Charlie time and chance after chance to get the W.  Add Ben’s fancy footwork into the equation of this new offensive ‘look,’ and we might just have a nice little recipe of whoopass.  The Chargers defense is not that great ranking over at least 18th in all categories – with rushing yards being the worst (I hope Dwyer reads our blog).

We’ve seen ‘trap game’ get thrown around, so perhaps Roethlisberger’s presence is even more critical to ensure this doesn’t happen – even though he’s been on the field for losses to Oakland and Tennessee (and wins against Philly and KC).  There’s no doubt the team will do everything they can to avoid ‘playing down to their competition’ and that may very well rest on Big Ben’s shoulders.

For these reasons, I think Ben will play a full game…. or at least as full a game as his body will physically let him.  I expect him to have a bit of rust on the accuracy meter but will shake that off as the first half progresses. Protect Ben.  Give him time.  Get open.  If the offense can do this – Philip Rivers and those Chargers will look even more dumb than he does here…..

Or here……(if that’s even possible).

It’s time for the true elite to shine on Sunday.  And if any Chargers fans are reading this – I MEAN BEN ROETHLISBERGER!I

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