When it rains, it pours.
Not only are the Pittsburgh Steelers going to be playing the New England Patriots at Heinz Field in Week 7 without Ben Roethlisberger, the originally stated timeline of his return (1-3 weeks) is now being considered a best-case scenario, and not the norm.
Fans might have been jolted to see the following from Sportscenter around midday on Wednesday.
A 4-6 week injury would certainly put a major dent into the Steelers' hopes of a stellar regular season ending with a division crown, and playoff berth. However, some are still suggesting he could be back for the Week 9 game against the Baltimore Ravens coming off their Week 8 bye week.
Roethlisberger initiated most of this conversation when he spoke with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ron Cook about his surgery, the rehabilitation process and when he is expected to return to the playing field.
"Doc says my knee looked good, but there still was some stuff in there from when I had my bone bruise last season in St. Louis," Roethlisberger said Tuesday. "He said that might keep me out a little longer than just a simple meniscus tear. Maybe an extra week or so. But there's no way to put an exact timetable on it. It all depends on my pain and how I feel."
If the general consensus was Roethlisberger would be out 1-3 weeks, and Roethlisberger himself is suggesting he could be out an extra week, it would fit into the ESPN report of 4-6 weeks.
Ultimately, people can try to put a tag on an injury, but every single body heals at a different rate. What might take one player two weeks to recover from, might take another four. What is known for sure is Roethlisberger will not be playing this Sunday at 4:25 p.m. EDT when the Patriots and Steelers go head-to-head. After that contest, the Steelers will rest up during the bye week, and it will be after their week off and the preparation for the Baltimore Ravens begins when the true speculation of Roethlisberger's return will become relevant.
Until then, fans should be wise to take a wait-and-see approach...this is assuming you haven't burned all your Steelers gear when thinking about Roethlisberger being out of the lineup long-term.