Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, Cameron Heyward return to practice

Oct. 30, 2011 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. - Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger scrambles against the Patriots in the first quarter Sunday at Heinz Field.
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Ben Roethlisberger’s ways of skirting normal injury timetables could well be continuing after the franchise quarterback participated in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ light practice on Monday, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Both Roethlisberger and top defensive lineman Cameron Heyward took part in the session, and while the Steelers don’t have to release an injury report until Wednesday, it should be viewed as an encouraging sign for the cornerstone talents’ statuses they’re practicing.

The 13th-year passer is barely two weeks removed from a surgery to repair a torn meniscus. While there are varying degrees of meniscus tears, both Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson and Denver Broncos’ running back C.J. Anderson are on injured reserve as a result of theirs. Playing at a position requiring far less mobility helps, but Roethlisberger would add to his toughness resume if he could surmount this injury and make it back to the field for Pittsburgh soon.

When Roethlisberger went down against the Miami Dolphins, he was the league’s leading touchdown passer with 16 in fewer than six full games. The Steelers are 4-3 now after having their bye, but the team is coming off consecutive losses to the Dolphins and New England Patriots, with backup signal caller Landry Jones factoring into both defeats.

Pittsburgh has not had its projected starting skill-position battery play together this season, either, with wide receiver Martavis Bryant and running back Le’Veon Bell incurring suspensions and Roethlisberger and tight end Ladarius Green alongside wide receivers Markus Wheaton and Eli Rogers missing time due to injury.

Heyward missed the past two games with an injured hamstring and did not report any issues after Monday’s workout. The sixth-year player is perhaps the Steelers’ top defender. He notably registered three sacks against the Kansas City Chiefs and has recorded 17 tackles this season.

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