Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is likely going to miss some time. He injured the meniscus in his knee and needed surgery. The Steelers have a huge game coming up, against the New England Patriots – in what many feel could be an AFC Championship Game preview – but it looks like Roethlisberger will be out and Landry Jones will get the start.
That is, unless you ask Jones. He says he’s not counting out Roethlisberger yet. When asked if Big Ben would play, Jones said:
“Phillip Rivers did it, didn’t he? You never know what’s going to happen.”
He’s sort of right. The big difference, of course, is that this is just a game in the middle of the year, and then the Steelers get a bye week, which adds additional healing time. What Rivers did was in the AFC title game, with nothing else to play for the following week and an entire offseason to heal. It was a do or die game and Rivers decided to gut it out. Roethlisberger likely wouldn’t do that and risk making things worse just for one game in the middle of a season.
Running back Le’Veon Bell was then asked about Jones, and he noted that the team needed to step up around him, saying:
“We have to get Landry confidence. When he’s confident, he’s made some plays. And when he has some pep in his step, he can strike. Ben’s been a starter for a long time at a high level. We just have to get him to the point where he’s real confident and he feels like he can do no wrong and feels like he can strike. We don’t want him to be too tense and thinking about too much at once. We want him to be confident and go out there and make some plays. He came in during the Arizona game and was striking. That was a big pickup for him. We have to do things he’s comfortable with. And obviously I have to help make plays and keep pressure off his back by running the ball well.”
Update: Roethlisberger has now been ruled out.