Q&A Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger did not practice Wednesday and is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against Jacksonville, but he's determined to give it his best shot after discarding his crutches Wednesday. Roethlisberger, of course, hyperextended his knee on a hit by Luis Castillo late in Monday night's win over the San Diego Chargers.


Are you the king of miracle recoveries?
I feel blessed, very blessed. I don't know if it's never as bad as it seems or if it's just the healing power of prayer but I do feel blessed to be able to walk around as healthy as I get to be.

Have you ever been hurt seriously?
I've never had any surgeries, knock on wood.

How bad did you think it was?
Real bad. He came straight into me. I collapsed my right leg so I could fall back and I think that probably saved me because he was coming right into me. If I'd have fallen forward, I think it probably would've been over. Luckily I got to fall backwards and it was a pretty bad pain at the time.
I feel very grateful and lucky there wasn't any ligament damage. It's going to be real painful right now, so hopefully we can get through the pain and see where we can go from here.

What was Dr. (James) Bradley telling you on the sideline? Was he comforting you?
When they were standing over me, someone kept saying ‘Look at the Jumbotron! Look how bad it looks!' So that didn't give me very good confidence. But, no, he was testing all the ligaments and he told me ‘Everything feels good, but we won't be sure until we get the MRI,' so that was reassuring at the time.

Was it a cheap hit?
I don't think so. He was kind of down and he just made a dive. It was one of those things; unfortunately he got my knee.

How do you like your chances of playing Sunday?
I don't know. We're going to go day by day right now, see how healthy we get. If I keep improving every day at least I'll be able to help the team however I can.

Would you rather sit out now or late in the season?
You never want to sit, regardless of when it is. I always want to be there for my team. I want them to always know they can count on me, so I'm going to do everything I can to be out there and be ready for them.

Do you have to be 100 percent healthy to play?
That's coach's call. He's the one who's going to make the decision if I go out there or not. I'm going to let him know how I feel and he'll make the final decision.

Are you optimistic you'll practice this week?
Yeah. I was out there walking around and yesterday I was on crutches all day. I'm actually walking today so I'm making a little bit of improvement. I'm going to do everything I can to try and throw the ball a little bit tomorrow and see how it feels.

What did you think of the game?
Thank you. The game, we did pretty well. I think we started out a little slow, which maybe is to be expected coming off a bye week and playing such a good team, but we started slow on offense. The defense did a good job and we answered the bell when we had to.

There are several quarterbacks who've had some scary hits on their knees lately. Does the NFL need to look at it more?
They protect the quarterbacks' lower bodies a lot with fines. You just don't hear about it. They may not get flagged for it, but they get fined. So I think they do a good job protecting the quarterback.

Did you have any inclination to get out there and test it today?
Nooo. No. No, I knew I wasn't going to get out and test it today.

What's your treatment schedule?
Here in the morning, just all day, as much as I can, all night doing everything I can, because I'm going to do whatever it takes to get better.

You were so cool on that fourth-quarter drive. Are you that calm?
Of course you're a little nervous and anxious but you can't show it. You just go out there and do the best you can.

The ability to keep playing no matter what, is that what separates quarterbacks?
As a quarterback you're a leader, so the big thing is I want to show leadership to these guys so they know I'll always be there for there for them, so I'm going to do whatever it takes. If that means playing through pain, I'm going to do it.

How does this compare to Dallas last year or previous injuries?
It's a different kind of pain. When I had those, I had fluid on my knee and with this one I don't really have fluid on my knee. It's disappointing to have, but there is good news on the injury.

Was that a brace you were wearing?
I hyperextended my knee so the brace keeps my knee from going back and actually hyperextending again.

Would you wear the brace on the field?
No, I will not wear it when I play. I just don't like wearing things on my knees when I play because I feel like I'm mobile enough and I don't know if it slows me down, because you know I'm really fast. (Laughs).

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