The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a holding pattern when it comes to the status of their franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. After injuring his throwing shoulder in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Wild Card game, Roethlisberger left the game and returned for the game-winning drive. Since then, Roethlisberger has yet to throw a pass in the two days of practice the Steelers have had in preparation for the Denver Broncos in the AFC Playoffs.
"I am not going to do any throwing," Roethlisberger told the Tribune-Review in the locker room moments before the start of practice on Thursday. "I will do some handoff work and stuff like that."
The Steelers quarterback was sporting a large ice pack and wrap on his throwing shoulder, as he has been receiving treatment regularly in hopes of preparing to play this weekend. For some fans, this news might seem like a death sentence for Roethlisberger's chances to play, but it shouldn't be.
As BTSC found out in a recent interview with a surgeon who deals with athletic injuries, the rehabilitation for a sprained AC joint often times deals with range-of-motion, resistance training and different stretches until the patient is able to get back to a full range of motion. This process could take anywhere from a few days, to weeks, depending on the severity of the sprain.
In Roethlisberger's case, the Steelers would not have allowed him anywhere near the sidelines, and especially to return to the game against the Bengals, if his injury was of that severity. In Roethlisberger's case, he could possibly go through a limited practice Thursday and Friday, and not test his shoulder until Saturday before taking the field Sunday. Taking the extra time to heal will only better his chances of not just playing, but playing effectively when the Steelers face Peyton Manning and the top-ranked defense in the NFL.