Breaking News: Ben Roethlisberger Will Start This Sunday

Ben Roethlisberger made “all the necessary throws” according to HC Mike Tomlin (Lake Fong/Post-Gazette)

Steeler Nation breathed a collective sigh today, as the news they hoped for became a reality:
steelers Pittsburgh Steelers @Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger will start vs. Chargers

No, I’m not gullible enough to believe everything I read on the internet, but this came from the team’s official twitter account.  OLB LaMarr Woodley summed up our feelings very economically:

LaMarrWoodley @LaMarrWoodley
Welcome back ben
Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley met with the media for his usual Thursday session, and no one could think of any questions that didn’t involve Big Ben.  But Haley managed to inject some humor into the proceedings:
Asked Todd Haley if he’d adjust the gameplan for Ben’s sore ribs/shoulder. Deadpanned: “We probably won’t call any quarterback draws.”

Although QB Charlie Batch filled in admirably last week, leading the offense on a game-winning drive against the Baltimore Ravens, Ben will be a welcome sight under center.  The Chargers have lost 7 of their last 8 games, their offensive line is suffering more injuries than the Steelers (I didn’t even think that was possible), and Accuscore predicts the Steelers winning 71% of 10,000 simulations.  You can never underestimate the magical ability of the Steelers to play down to the level of their competition, allowing bad teams to stay in the game and even win.   But the way the defense has been playing, I don’t see that happening.  With Big Ben in charge of the offense, I think they will handle the Chargers far better than the Ravens (who never should have won that game. 4th and 29? But I digress) did.

Roethlisberger took 80-90% of the offensive snaps today in practice, and TE Heath Miller commented that he didn’t notice any decrease in velocity.  Expect Haley to call plays designed to keep Ben as safe as possible…but never doubt that Ben will still be Ben.

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