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Steelers expect Ben Roethlisberger to return Sunday against Bengals

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been out with a knee injury since Week 3. Barring any setbacks this week during practice, the Steelers are optimistic he'll return this weekend against the Bengals.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are expecting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to return this weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals, according to media reports. "Barring a setback during practice this week, (the Steelers) believe Ben Roethlisberger should be healthy enough and ready to play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals," said ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter during ESPN's NFL Live show.

Head coach Mike Tomlin said as much, following Pittsburgh's 23-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I do, as I sit here today, but I don't know what the reaction to the next week's work is going to mean to him," Tomlin said when asked if he believes they'll have Roethlisberger back for Week 8. "I say that with the understanding that how his knee reacts to the work we give him could play into it as well."

"That's good enough for me," said Roethlisberger after hearing Tomlin's comments. "I feel good. We'll see. We'll take it day by day."

Pittsburgh viewed Roethlisberger as a game-time decision against the Chiefs, despite third-string quarterback Landry Jones consuming nearly 85 percent of the team's first team snaps last week.

Roethlisberger reportedly suffered an MCL sprain and bruised tibia during a Week 3 win over the St. Louis Rams. Initial reports speculated that Roethlisberger would miss 3-4 weeks, with many speculating his return against the Bengals this weekend.

Even if Roethlisberger is feeling less than 100 percent this week, you have to believe Pittsburgh views Sunday's game with relative urgency. Cincinnati, one of five teams currently 6-0 this season and coming off a bye, holds a 2.5-game lead in the division. If the Bengals defeat Pittsburgh, Cincinnati extends their lead to 3.5 games with another game scheduled later this season in Cincinnati.