Before kickoff on Monday night, rumors swirled surrounding the possible return of Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as he was seen throwing before the game, and also saying he would like to play against his former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals this week.
'Want' is a very elusive word and one which can mean several things, but Roethlisberger's wants and desires have nothing to do with his left knee being healthy enough to play the game at a high level. The Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin echoed such a sentiment at his press conference Tuesday when he had no report on the possible return of their Pro Bowl quarterback.
Tomlin shook off the notion of Roethlisberger throwing before the game as any indication the quarterback will be returning sooner than anticipated. Roethlisberger did talk on his weekly radio show on 93.7 the Fan how he is hoping to run some 7-on-7 drills this week to get himself acclimated to playing with a brace on his knee and the lack of mobility in the joint. He did say he didn't want to take any reps away from Michael Vick as they prepare for Arizona this week.
On other injury news, Tomlin said safety Will Allen will have an MRI done on his ankle Tuesday, and his availability is certainly in question as the team prepares for Week 6. Ross Ventrone re-aggravated his hamstring injury making his availability this Sunday also a question mark. With both Allen and Ventrone both uncertain to play this week, it leaves only Mike Mitchell, Robert Golden and Shamarko Thomas as the healthy safeties available on their roster.
Tomlin did suggest the team should have Ryan Shazier back in the lineup, but fans should heed caution to those words as he has missed three straight weeks from a shoulder injury originally characterized as "the bumps and bruises" from playing the game of football.
The team will need all hands on deck when the 4-1 Cardinals come to town to try and push the Steelers' record back to the .500 mark.