OWINGS MILLS — The Ravens expect to see Ben Roethlisberger playing quarterback for the Steelers on Sunday, although his availability is not a certainty. Roethlisberger had surgery last month to repair a meniscus injury in his left knee, and his status for Sunday’s game at M&T Bank Stadium won’t be clarified until later in the week. If Roethlisberger can’t go, backup quarterback Landry Jones will get the start.
“We’ll prepare as if he’s going to play,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh, referring to Roethlisberger on Monday. “The offense doesn’t change that much if Landry Jones is in there. Obviously they’re different players. Ben is Ben and we respect him tremendously. We’ll operate under that assumption.”
The Ravens (3-4) could take over first place in the AFC North by beating the Steelers (4-3). However, the AFC North may only send one team to the playoffs this year. The AFC West has three teams with winning records — the Raiders (6-2), the Broncos (6-2) and the Chiefs (5-2), while the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals (3-4-1) have all been inconsistent.
Asked why he felt the AFC North had been down so far this season, Harbaugh was in no mood to speculate.
“I haven’t really analyzed it,” Harbaugh said. “It really doesn’t matter to me right now. Our focus is on becoming the best team we can be, playing the best football we can play, and winning these close games.”