The Pittsburgh Steelers found out earlier this week that starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sustained a minor pectoral injury on a hit in the first quarter of last Sunday’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. Although there was originally some question as to whether or not he’d play this weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals, the 39-year-old seems to be on track to take the field.
Roethlisberger returned to practice on Thursday in a limited capacity, according to the Steelers latest injury report. That’s a good sign that he’ll be healthy enough to play come Sunday.
Roethlisberger sat out of practice on Wednesday but vowed that he would do “everything” possible to be ready to suit up against the Bengals. Barring a major setback in the next two days, the Steelers should have their starting quarterback available for this weekend’s home game.
Ben Roethlisberger returns to practice on limited basis. https://t.co/W7ZtGLYRJg
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 23, 2021
Roethlisberger has battled injuries in recent years, dating back to 2019 when he played just two games before injuring his right elbow. He played in 15 regular season games in 2020, but showed signs throughout the year that he wasn’t 100 percent healthy. Although minor, this Week 2 pectoral injury is just the latest recent instance of Roethlisberger getting banged up.
Unfortunately, the Steelers passing game likely won’t be at full strength against Cincinnati, even if Roethlisberger is able to play. Wide receiver Diontae Johnson did not practice again on Thursday, casting doubt on his status for Sunday. The 25-year-old has led Pittsburgh in every major receiving category through two weeks.
So long as Roethlisberger lines up under center, the Steelers will be favored to win over the Bengals. Pittsburgh will look to improve to 2-1 on Sunday afternoon.