Ravens head coach John Harbaugh talks about preparing his team during the bye week to face the Steelers on Sunday.
Will he or won't he? That's the question Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers fans have about whether quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will return from the surgery he underwent two weeks ago to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and play in Sunday's AFC North showdown at M&T Bank Stadium.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he expects to see No. 7 under center for Pittsburgh.
"I haven't read anything today about it, but I would anticipate they will prepare as if he's going to play," Harbaugh said Monday. "The offense doesn't change that much if [backup] Landry Jones is in there. Obviously, they're different players. Ben is Ben, and we respect him tremendously. We'll operate under that assumption."
Jones completed 61.7 percent (29 of 47) of his passes for 281 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the Steelers' 27-16 loss to the New England Patriots on Oct. 23. It wasn't a terrible showing, but he's no Roethlisberger, who has guided Pittsburgh to two Super Bowl victories and ranked in the top five leaguewide in six passing categories, including touchdown passes (15), before his injury.
Roethlisberger reportedly practiced Monday, which impressed teammates.
"Whenever you have a leader like that, coming off surgery, to come out there and show the team you're willing to do what it takes to play with your brothers, you can really respect that," center Maurkice Pouncey said. "Everyone knows and can see why he's a leader on this team."
Joining Roethlisberger at practice were two more starters in right tackle Marcus Gilbert (high-ankle sprain) and defensive end Cam Heyward (hamstring).
The Ravens practiced, too, but Harbaugh was tight-lipped about who participated.
"We don't have any announcements to make along those lines," he said. "Injury report [to be released on] Wednesday. I really don't have any updates on that. I'm anticipating some guys being back, though."