The Steelers prepare for the week 7 match up against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Steelers have officially listed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as questionable for Sunday's game at Kansas City and they're still looking for answers regarding Roethlisberger's potential readiness.
"We're still in the process of going through it," head coach Mike Tomlin said today after practice today.
Roethlisberger suffered a sprained MCL /bone bruise in his left knee on Sept. 27 at St. Louis.
Quarterback Mike Vick (hamstring) has been declared out for the Kansas City game.
Should Roethlisberger also ultimately be deemed unavailable, the Steelers are going to have to sort out backup quarterback as well as starting quarterback prior to the opening kickoff in Kansas City.
That might involve activating wide receiver Tyler Murphy from the practice squad.
Murphy went to training camp as a quarterback/wide receiver, and the Steelers took steps this week to reacquaint him with taking snaps, just in case.
"We don't have to come to a decision (on the 53-man roster) until 4 p.m. tomorrow," Tomlin said. "We're going to utilize all the sand in the hour glass."
Third-year pro Landry Jones made his NFL debut last Sunday against Arizona.
Jones replaced Vick on two occasions, taking over for good early in the third quarter and leading the Steelers on four consecutive scoring drives before taking a knee on his fifth second-half possession to cement a 25-13 victory.
"We've been practicing with Landry this week and that's been our guy that we're suspecting that we're going to play with," offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert said. "He's been throwing the ball really well this week, making the play calls, the checks and everything that we expect him to do. He's just been doing a tremendous job at it.
"We're going to ride with him. We know he can make the plays, he can make the throws. We just have to give him enough time to do so."
Wide receiver Markus Wheaton said he's approaching the Chiefs game as if Roethlisberger wouldn't play.
"If he does play, I'll be super-excited, obviously," Wheaton said. "But I'm going to just set my mind up with Landry, just make my mind up and be ready for Landry to play and expect Landry to play.
"I try not to think about it, just go with Landry. If Ben does play, that's great. But why sit around thinking about it? I feel like if I expect Landry to play and Ben does play it's a great day."
Running back Le'Veon Bell's expectations for Jones should Jones get the starting nod would be to "go out there and play his game.
"I'm not expecting him to go out there and throw for 400 yards," Bell said. "I just want him to run the offense, obviously get the play-makers the ball and do his thing."
Wide receiver Antonio Brown said he sensed "some positivity this week".
"We're excited about the opportunity to go out and play and we're looking forward to it," Brown added.
Murphy said he did "a good amount" at quarterback this week in practice.
The best photos of QB Landry Jones from the 2015.
"But I also did a good amount of receiver and I was on all the special teams," Murphy continued. "Hopefully, I get pulled up (to the active roster). I'm just focused on trying to get better and preparing so that if my number is called and I do have to go out there and throw a pass I'm ready to do that."
Murphy was on the active roster as a wide receiver for the regular-season opener at New England and caught one pass for 16 yards in the Steelers' 28-21 loss.
He was released on Sept. 23 and re-signed to the practice squad on Sept. 24.
"I've never stopped paying attention (to quarterback)," Murphy said. "I studied quarterback just because it helps me play each and every position."
Practice-squad players don't accompany the team on road trips.
That means Murphy may or may not have a plane to catch on Saturday afternoon.
"I don't know anything yet," he said. "We have meetings (Saturday) morning, I'll find out then. It's been an up-and-down journey. With this business you never know. I just take it one day at a time."
So, apparently, do the Steelers.STATUS REPORT
OUT: S Will Allen (ankle), DE Stephon Tuitt (knee), Vick.
QUESTIONABLE: CB Cortez Allen (knee), Roethlisberger.
PROBABLE: CB Antwon Blake (thumb), LB Jarvis Jones (hip), LB Ryan Shazier (shoulder), CB William Gay (not injury related), LB James Harrison (not injury related), TE Matt Spaeth (not injury related).