As the rest of Rapoport's tweet went on say, there are some things to work out first. Johnson is also the first pick of the San Diego Fleet of the Alliance of American Football, so he will at least temporarily need to get out of that to back up Sanchez.
Big Ben practiced limited all week but is expected to play. Jones would go if for some reason the team decides to hold Roethlisberger back. The good news for owners is this is an early afternoon game so be sure to look for our last-minute, need-to-know information leading up to the early kickoffs.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took some first-team reps during Monday's practice, a positive sign as the team prepares for the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
Roethlisberger, who underwent surgery to repair a torn left meniscus on Oct. 17, moved well in the pocket and threw with authority while running the no-huddle offense, right tackle Marcus Gilbert said.
"Ben looked really good," Gilbert said. "Ben is a competitor. Never count him out. We're optimistic where he stands right now. As far as him being healthy, 100 percent, that's where I want him to be. Seeing that is very encouraging."
The Steelers (4-3) will prepare Landry Jones for his second consecutive start in case Roethlisberger can't play, but we've reported for a couple of weeks now that Big Ben may have played up the timetable so he can make an early return. There are reports the team expected him back for Week 9 and based on this article, that's still certainly a possibility.
This is obviously a blow to the entire Pittsburgh offense. Since 2015, Roethlisberger has missed four games, and the team's passing yards decreased by 45%, total points decreased by 25% and passing touchdowns decreased by 39%. So all the Pittsburgh receivers take a hit while Roethlisberger is out. Landry Jones will start in the interim. He has a career completion percentage of 57.1% with a good YPA (9.2) and a not-so-good TD-to-INT ratio (3:4). He may work his way into streaming consideration if things break his way, but this is a sizable downgrade at quarterback. Roethlisberger's absence might benefit Bell, who tends to see more carries when his quarterback his out. But last season that increase in carries was offset by a reduced role in the passing game, so it looks like a wash for Bell. UPDATE: Our source in Pittsburgh said that the timeline came from Roethlisberger, who tends to “play up” his injuries so that he looks “tough” when he returns early. Our source said that he was told Roethlisberger is expected to return in Week 9 after the team’s bye. So owners should stream for the next couple of weeks and see how his recovery is going at that point.