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Ben Roethlisberger Denies Reports He Could Return By Week 7

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) - Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger joined "The Cook and Poni Show" on Tuesday for the "#1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show."

In his first appearance since his injury against St. Louis, Roethlisberger said there is optimism about his potential return date.

"I saw Dr. Bradley and he was really pleased with the way things are coming," Roethlisberger said. "We're just going to keep taking it week-by-week and try and get back as soon as I can."

Roethlisberger, who was diagnosed with a sprained MCL and bone bruise, talked about the pain he's dealing with and how he's handling it.

"There's still quite a bit of pain from the bone bruise," Roethlisberger said. "The MCL isn't super painful. I feel it when I walk at times, but the problem is if I walk without a brace...when you kick your leg forward as if you're just walking, it feels like your leg is just kind of flopping."

Roethlisberger was asked if the original timetable of 4-6 weeks still applies.

"I think so," Roethlisberger said. "What we're trying not to do is put a time on it and just go week-by-week. Basically say, 'I'm out this week, we'll reevaluate it next week and see if and what I can do.' To me, that's the better way and maybe the more optimistic way to look at it. Rather than put a number on it, lets just take it one week at a time."

That being said, Roethlisberger responded to the reports from this weekend that he could be back by the team's Week 7 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs.

"That does not come from me or our doctors. I just left Dr. Bradley and he said, 'Where do these reports come from that you're coming back at a certain week?'  I'm like, 'I don't know doc, I haven't really heard any of them.' So, I assume that's exactly what he was talking about. We know that people like to just speculate and say things. So, that did not come from me, the Steelers or any of our doctors, more importantly."

Being relegated to the sidelines now with the injury, Roethlisberger discussed what he has been doing during his weeks other than rehabbing his knee.

"I'm there doing everything I can.  Helping [Michael Vick], trying to answer questions, being a sounding board for him, for Coach Haley for Randy [Fichtner].  I try and be as involved as I can," he said.

Looking back at last week's loss, Roethlisberger talked about how Vick performed on a short week of practice.

"I still think he played pretty well...I think what you'll see more than just him being better prepared is more cohesiveness between him and [Antonio Brown]," Roethlisberger said.

Roethlisberger even pointed out that the incomplete throw Vick threw to Brown on fourth down late in the game wasn't a call you should blame him for.

"The only tough part that we talked about, and we had a long discussion before the second fourth down was that it's a tough throw to Mike's right...Coaches asked Mike if we felt like it was an okay play to run that way, and to Mike's credit, he had never practiced it to the we asked him to do something he had never done before and that's not fair to put on him, but he felt comfortable making the play. We felt comfortable he could make the play and I know that he said he wished he could have that throw back because he knows he could make it," Roethlisberger said.

After mentioning the added cohesiveness between Vick and Brown this week, Roethlisberger addressed the obvious level of frustration Brown showed on the sideline during the loss to the Ravens.

" I talked to him throughout the game," Roethlisberger said. "I talked to AB a lot during the game and just told him to stay patient, stay calm. And it was frustrating. You could see it. AB is the best and he demands in himself to be the best...What they need is practice time, him and Mike. They need the chemistry of learning each other...He's not going to get that overnight with Mike, but the more they can practice and work together, the better they're going to be."

The Brown frustration was certainly a story line from last week's loss, but it paled in comparison to the kicking woes of former kicker Josh Scobee.  He missed two field goals and appeared to lose the coaches' confidence late in the game as they elected to go for it on fourth down rather than attempting a game-winning field goal. Roethlisberger was asked if, after watching last week's game, he has a new appreciation for Shaun Suisham.

"I always had a great appreciation for Suish. We always knew what we had in him and always knew that he was special...It's definitely tough, but we know we have our guy there, we just won't have him this year," he said.

You can hear audio of the full interview below.

The "#1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show" is heard exclusively every Tuesday at 11 a.m. during the Steelers' season on "The Cook and Poni Show" on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.

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