The Pittsburgh Steelers are leaving the door open for a possible Week-7 comeback for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. After being limited in practice the last three days, the two-time Super Bowl champion’s status has been upgraded to "questionable" for Sunday in Kansas City. He had been listed as "doubtful" up until Friday.
Backup quarterback Michael Vick has been ruled out for Sunday with a hamstring strain, meaning 26-year old Landry Jones will make his first career start if Roethlisberger is unable to go.
Roethlisberger has been out since suffering an MCL sprain on Sept. 27 against the St. Louis Rams. Since Wednesday, Roethlisberger has been taking snaps in with a protective brace on his left knee and reportedly looked strong in practice during the week. Although Roethlisberger has been lobbying to play, the decision will ultimately be up to head coach Mike Tomlin. The Steelers have given Jones the majority of first-team snaps in preparation for him making the start against the Chiefs.
"I think it's prudent and appropriate right now to operate under the assumption that Landry is our quarterback this week," Tomlin said earlier in the week.
It likely helps Tomlin and the Steelers give Roethlisberger an extra week knowing that Jones can efficiently run the offense. Making his NFL debut last week against the Arizona Cardinals, Jones came in relief of Vick and led the Steelers to a 25-13 win. He completed eight of his 12 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns, both to Martavis Bryant, who was making his season debut for Pittsburgh.
The Steelers (4-2) are 2-1 without Roethlisberger and looking to keep pace with the Cincinnati Bengals (6-0) in the AFC North.