Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Q: Ben what is your top concern as it relates to the injury and game action Sunday?
BR: Can't afford to have one.
Q: Is there any concern about the brace, mobility, so forth?
BR: I'm not going to think about it.
Q: Jerome Bettis said the first time he wore a brace he wore it at home a couple of days to get used to it. Will you do anything like that?
BR: I've been wearing it to work out, to do some things in, just to try to get used to it. I've never worn one before, so it's definitely something new. Not gonna think about it.
Q: Are you getting used to it?
BR: I think so.
Q: Are you concerned there are certain things you think you might not be able to do out there?
BR: I think if there's a restriction I shouldn't be out there.
Q: Do you ever think about the injury in the back of your mind and worry?
BR: No. You can't afford to. That's why I keep saying I don't want to think about the injury. I'm just going to go out and play the game of football.
Q: Are three practices enough to get your timing back?
BR: I hope so.
Q: What's going to be your workload today? A full slate?
Q: Did you have a setback late last week?
BR: I think it was more just a pain and inflammation setback. I don't think it was a negative injury or more of an injury type of setback. It was just putting an extra-heavy load on it and paying for it that night with achiness and inflammation, things like that.
Q: Any pain now?
Q: Does that question -- seeing how it feels after a couple of days -- have to be answered again this week?
BR: I think so. That's why I've said through this whole thing it's one day at a time. That's why I'm not getting my hopes up about Sunday. I'm going to get my hopes up for today and see how it goes today.
Q: Mike Tomlin said he wants you out there. Does that make you feel good?
BR: I want to be out there anyway, whether he doesn't want me out there or doesn't want me out there. I want to be out there anyway.
Q: When you felt the discomfort were you scared?
BR: I didn't know what to expect. Obviously there was more disappointment I think. Once I got the reassurance from the doctors that 'You didn't do anything to hurt the MCL, the bone bruise. It's just simple overuse and the inflammation is natural and is just going to happen.' Once I got over the initial shock of worrying that something more happened than I was fine with it.
Q: Can the Bengals still surprise you? Do they do anything different?
BR: They get after the quarterback and they stop the run. It's a really, really good defense. It's a heck of a test for us. This is one of the best teams in football right now and there's a lot of work we're going to have to put in to get ready for them.
Q: Marcus Gilbert has really been solid this year. He has a big test this week. How has he progressed?
BR: I think it's the off-the-field, offseason work he's put it. He's kind of dedicated himself, his body, his mind to being the best tackle he can be. I think it's really showing. He's played some great football. He's got his hands full this week, but he does every week. Every week he's playing some of the best pass-rushers in the game. I think he's dedicated himself to really just proving that he can be the guy.
Q: What advice do you have for Alejandro Villanueva into his second start?
BR: Just keep playing ball. He did a great job last week. Don't let a couple of plays at the end of a game dictate how you're going to play the game. It's a long season. It's not like he's trying out for his job. He's got the job. He needs to go out and play like it's his and that he's got all the confidence in the world.
Q: Does Heath Miller need to be involved more in the offense?
BR: Well, I think Heath's a dynamic player, has been here for a long time. He is an invaluable piece of this offense so we need to include him, as we need to include everybody, all the pieces that we have on offense are valuable and we need to keep utilizing everybody.
Q: Has there been any talk about the Bengals' shot on Le'Veon Bell's knee?
BR: Oh, gosh, I don't even remember it well enough to tell you.
Q: So it obviously hasn't been a topic in the locker room.
BR: Not in this corner at least (chuckles). It may have been over there. I don't know.
Steelers QB Roethlisberger talks to Pittsburgh media about his return to action
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers