Ben Roethlisberger is back.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed today that Roethlisberger, the quarterback who has missed the last three games with rib and shoulder injuries, will be back in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Chargers.
“He has been above the line in all areas,” Tomlin said of Roethlisberger’s performance at practice this week. “Really, the only question we can’t answer is taking a hit. Obviously that will be answered in the stadium on Sunday. I am extremely comfortable with his ability to work the field both vertically and horizontally. He has great velocity on his ball. We’re ready to go.”
The question about Roethlisberger’s ability to take a hit is a significant concern because of reports that Roethlisberger’s rib was broken in an area that another hit before it was fully healed could risk puncturing his aorta. But if the Steelers’ doctors cleared him to play, they’re surely satisfied that his rib injury is sufficiently healed that that’s no longer a risk.
And so Roethlisberger will be back, as the Steelers fight to stay ahead of the Bengals for the AFC’s sixth and final playoff spot.