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Odds Steelers Can Reach the Playoffs with Ben Roethlisberger Banged Up

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 19:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is helped off the ground after he was sacked by the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on December 19, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Jesse ReedCorrespondent INovember 13, 2012

Another season, another Ben Roethlisberger injury. The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback just can't seem to stay healthy, but don't think for a second that it will have any impact on the team's playoff chances in 2012. 

Per ESPN's Ed Werder:

Preliminary indication is Big Ben likely suffered a sprained SC joint as coach Mike Tomlin stated and also rib injury on the same play.

— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) November 13, 2012


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette'Ed Bouchette reports that Roethlisberger is "questionable this week."

I don't expect Roethlisberger to get back in the saddle for Week 11, but there's no way he's going to be out for long. 

The fact of the matter is that Big Ben has been chugging along his entire career while dealing with one injury or another, and the Steelers keep winning games. As the old saying goes: He takes a licking and keeps on kicking. 

Since joining the league in 2004, Roethisberger has managed to play in all 16 games just one time—2008. In all those years, the Steelers only missed the playoffs twice—in 2006 and 2009. 

The Steelers currently occupy the No. 6 seed in the AFC and are one game behind the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North. With two games remaining against their divisional rivals, the Ravens, and a relatively easy schedule the rest of the way, the Steelers are in control of their own destiny.

The best part about their position in the AFC is that after the top six teams—all of which have a record of 6-3 or better—every other team in the conference has a losing record.

For the time being, Byron Leftwich is capable of playing well enough to give the Steelers a chance to win. The team's running game has been coming on strong, with Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer running hard, and once Rashard Mendenhall comes back from his injury, the team will have a trio of backs to pound away at opposing defenses.

Coupled with the team's stifling defense, the Steelers will cruise into the playoffs. 

Make no mistake about it, though—Big Ben won't be out for long, and if history is any indication, he'll be just fine when he returns. 

Yes, he'll be banged up, but that's just par for the course with Roethlisberger and the Steelers. 

Odds the Steelers earn a playoff spot: 3/2


Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 and check out my weekly NFL picks at Pickfactor.com

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