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Michael Johnson compares his pre-season injury to Ben Roethlisberger's

Michael Johnson finished with four sacks in his lone season with the Bucs, but two of them came on Ben Roethlisberger in Tampa Bay's upset win in Pittsburgh.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When the Bengals take on the Steelers in Pittsburgh in Week 8, the expectation is that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be able to play for the first time in a month.

After suffering a sprained MCL and bone bruise on his knee in Week 3, Roethlisberger has missed the last four games while recovering. The original timetable for his injury was believed to be 4-6 weeks, which would have initially put him on pace to return this week against Cincinnati at the earliest. That also means that if/when Ben plays this week, he might not be fully healed from the injury.

Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson knows how that works. He suffered a similar injury, a sprained MCL early in training camp this year that ended up keeping him out of practice for four weeks. Even when he was able to return to practice, Johnson was limited in what he could do and how much strain he could put on the knee.

Johnson anticipates that being the case with Ben on Sunday, and it could limit his effectiveness against the Bengals.

Fellow Bengals defensive end Wallace Gilberry has faced Roethlisberger enough to know he's dangerous whether he's 100-percent or 70-percent.

In two games vs the Bengals in 2014, Roethlisberger was nearly flawless, completing 49 of 77 passes for 667 yards with five touchdowns vs one interception and wasn't sacked even once. Even a step back from that could still result in a solid performance against Cincinnati on Sunday.

It's also worth noting that Roethlisberger was a full participant in Wednesday's and Thursday's practice session after getting three limited sessions in last week before being inactive vs the Chiefs. He also participated in two limited sessions in Week 5 before missing the Cardinals game as well. Assuming Roethlisberger practices again tomorrow, that will make for eight practices between when he injured his knee and when he faces the Bengals.

It's also worth noting that on the six occasions that Roethlisberger has returned after missed games due to injury, the Steelers are 2-4 in his first games back. This is the longest stretch of games that Roethlisberger has ever missed due to injury since entering the NFL.

While he probably won't be 100-percent, don't expect Big Ben to be too rusty either.