Wednesdays mean it is back to work for the Pittsburgh Steelers as they begin their preparation for their Week 7 opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs. For quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, it marks the beginning of his "trial and error" period.
This week is the first week Roethlisberger will be a full participant in practice, the only question remaining now is how his knee responds to the workload of a full practice. All eyes will be on No. 7 Wednesday as he takes snaps at the team's South Side practice facility, but as Roethlisberger stated before the workout, it is going to have to be a wait-and-see approach.
The most important trial for Roethlisberger won't take place Wednesday, but Thursday when the team's medical staff will evaluate how Roethlisberger's knee responded to Wednesday's practice. If there is no major swelling, increased pain or stiffness, then it could be a green light to press through this phase of his rehab and be a viable option to play Sunday.
As Roethlisberger takes the practice field, he will have to do something he has never done in his playing career, and that is wear a brace on the injured left knee. Roethlisberger told reporters Wednesday he has tried around six different braces in search of one which feels comfortable, doesn't restrict his movement and allows him to play the style of football fans are accustomed to seeing.
Many believe Roethlisberger is a long-shot to play this Sunday, but the Steelers' quarterback depth chart certainly makes fans cringe when thinking about Roethlisberger's status combined with Mike Vick's hamstring injury. The team did confirm Tyler Murphy, a QB/WR on the team's practice squad, is quarterbacking the scout team offense this week, and he could be a logical option to be an emergency quarterback if Roethlisberger and Vick aren't deemed to be well enough to participate.
The team is moving forward with Landry Jones as their starter, but if Roethlisberger is healthy, you can't count out a return for No. 7 in Week 7.