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Report: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger "ahead of schedule" with foot injury, still not likely to play Sunday

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The Pittsburgh Steelers franchise QB, Ben Roethlisberger, was expected to be in a walking boot this entire week, but has already ditched the boot and is reportedly ahead of schedule.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to get good news in regards to Ben Roethlisberger's injury to his foot which he suffered in the teams 38-35 win over the Oakland Raiders in Week 9. Although some feared the worst, a severe LisFranc injury, the mid-foot sprain suffered when Aldon Smith landed on him midway through the 4th quarter seems to be healing nicely.

Earlier this week, at Mike Tomlin's Tuesday press conference, the head coach stated he would leave the door "slightly ajar" for Roethlisberger to possibly participate in their Week 10 game against the Cleveland Browns. Most experts and fans shook off such a notion, even after Roethlisberger echoed the same sentiment on his weekly radio show on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh.

Adam Schefter of ESPN is now reporting Roethlisberger is "ahead of schedule" in his rehabilitation process. See what Schefter wrote on his official Facebook page:

"Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger was expected to be in a walking boot all week, but he is out and "progressing ahead of schedule", per source. It's still unlikely he plays Sunday, but it's Roethlisberger..."

Although this doesn't mean fans at Heinz Field will see No. 7 running through the tunnel for the 1:00 p.m. EDT kickoff Sunday, it does mean his foot is healing to the point he should be ready to play when the Steelers return from their bye week in Week 12 against the Seahawks in Seattle.

With a win Sunday the Steelers will be 6-4 heading into their bye week, and will need Roethlisberger healthy to make a run to the postseason, and possibly beyond. It will be interesting to see if Roethlisberger participates, even in a limited role, in practice this week leading up to the Browns game, but if I were a betting man I wouldn't put money on it.

Stay tuned to BTSC for all the latest news surrounding Ben Roethlisberger's injury, as well as updates heading into Week 10.