Earlier this week reports circulated of injured Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger progressing quickly through his rehab, and a return possibly for the Steelers road game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 7. When Roethlisberger took to the airwaves Tuesday for the first time since being injured against the St. Louis Rams in Week 3, he silenced some of those rumors.
"That does not come from me or our doctors. I just left Dr. Bradley and he said, ‘Where do these reports come from that you're coming back at a certain week?' I'm like, ‘I don't know doc, I haven't really heard any of them.' So, I assume that's exactly what he was talking about. We know that people like to just speculate and say things. So, that did not come from me, the Steelers or any of our doctors, more importantly." Roethlisberger said on the Cook and Poni show.
Regardless of the origins of the rumors, Roethlisberger did say he is progressing through his rehab nicely, but he and the doctors are taking a week-by-week approach to his return.
"I saw Dr. Bradley and he was really pleased with the way things are coming," Roethlisberger said. "We're just going to keep taking it week-by-week and try and get back as soon as I can."
"There's still quite a bit of pain from the bone bruise," Roethlisberger said. "The MCL isn't super painful. I feel it when I walk at times, but the problem is if I walk without a brace...when you kick your leg forward as if you're just walking, it feels like your leg is just kind of flopping."
Roethlisberger also addressed the Steelers' most recent loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football, but most importantly the play of Michael Vick as the team's quarterback. Roethlisberger was pleased with what he saw."I still think he played pretty well...I think what you'll see more than just him being better prepared is more cohesiveness between him and [Antonio Brown],"
Many fans wanted to point the finger at Vick for the incomplete pass to Brown in overtime, but Roethlisberger says they shouldn't considering the situation.
"The only tough part that we talked about, and we had a long discussion before the second fourth down was that it's a tough throw to Mike's right...Coaches asked Mike if we felt like it was an okay play to run that way, and to Mike's credit, he had never practiced it to the right...so we asked him to do something he had never done before and that's not fair to put on him, but he felt comfortable making the play. We felt comfortable he could make the play and I know that he said he wished he could have that throw back because he knows he could make it," Roethlisberger said.
Throughout Roethlisberger's absence, he remains the leader of the team, and has been extremely active in helping Vick get acclimated to the offense to see the team succeed.
"I'm there doing everything I can. Helping [Michael Vick], trying to answer questions, being a sounding board for him, for Coach Haley for Randy [Fichtner]. I try and be as involved as I can," he said.
Roethlisberger is the key cog to this Steelers' offense being one of the best units in the entire NFL, and all fans around the globe await his return to the lineup.