Roethlisberger on bid to play Sunday: I can deal with pain

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can handle the pain that will come with playing through his knee injury; he just hopes his knee is stable enough.
Jason Bridge/USA TODAY Sports

By Jason Rowan

Ben Roethlisberger is eager to hit the practice field this week in a bid to return from injury and play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Not only will the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback be testing out his mobility and pain tolerance, he will also use the increased practice time to determine how comfortable he feels wearing several different models of knee braces.

Roethlisberger suffered an MCL sprain and bone bruise in his left knee during a Sept. 27 game against the St. Louis Rams and indicated his pain threshold won’t be a prevailing issue in determining whether or not he plays Sunday.

“I can deal with pain,” said Roethlisberger, via Steelers.com. “Adrenaline helps with that a lot. The stability, we have a great training staff and doctors. We have about six different knee braces to try. John Norwig is going to tape it too. Today is going to be a trial and error type of thing. I have no idea what it is like to run, move, and get hit in the leg. I am not really sure yet.

“The pain will be there for a while. I can deal with pain.”

Roethlisberger’s tolerance for pain has never been questioned as he’s long been considered one of the NFL’s toughest quarterbacks. But the concern should be whether his limited mobility will inhibit his ability to protect himself when the pocket collapses and he’s forced to either step up or scramble. At this point, it’s unclear how well he could do either of those things.

Roethlisberger clearly hopes to prove himself ready to play, but says the decision will ultimately be left up to head coach Mike Tomlin, presumably along with input from the training staff.

“That is not my call,” said Roethlisberger. “That is coach’s call. I am going to go out and practice and give it everything I have and let him make the decision.

Tomlin indicated earlier this week that the team would operate under the assumption that Landry Jones will start Sunday since he’s the “healthy” quarterback. How Roethlisberger fares in Wednesday’s practice may influence that assessment quite a bit.

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