Ex-Ravens coach: Big Ben is 'a drama queen' when it comes to injuries

Ben Roethlisberger, who suffered a shoulder strain late in last weekend's wild-card win over Bengals, is listed as questionable ahead of Sunday's divisional matchup against the Broncos. The Steelers quarterback looked good in practice on Friday -- his first full practice of the week -- and there's every expectation that he'll take the field in Denver.

This is nothing new. Roethlisberger is known for a) his toughness and b) hamming up -- intentionally or otherwise -- his injuries, usually before playing lights out. This reality isn't lost on NFL Network analyst and former Ravens coach Brian Billick, who faced Roethlisberger at least twice a season from 2004-2007.

"There's no one tougher than Ben Roethlisberger by far in the NFL, but he's a drama queen," Billick told Denver's 104.3 The Fan on Thursday, via FOXSports.com. "He's gonna come out on that field. That arm's gonna be limp. It's going to look like he can't even lift it. Then he's going to crank off a 60-yard bomb to Martavis Bryant. Then he'll carry it back into the huddle, holding it like it's in a sling, and then he'll crank off a 40-yarder to Antonio Brown."

Billick's right about everything except that 40-yard bomb to Brown, who was ruled out on Friday (yep, Adam Jones apologized too).

Like Billick, the Broncos' defenders are in "we'll believe it when we see it" mode.

"Ben, he kind of looks like Obi-Wan Kenobi," defensive end Antonio Smith said this week. "He tried to pull the Jedi mind trick on everybody. 'Oh yeah, I'm really hurt. I might not play.' And then he comes in the game and tries to ball."

Without Brown, who torched Broncos cornerback Chris Harris for 16 catches, 189 yards and 2 touchdowns in December, the Steelers will have to rely on Bryant, Markus Wheaton and Darrius Heyward-Bey -- while facing the NFL's best defense. 

Big Ben might be hurt but everybody expects him to play well. (USATSI)
Big Ben might be hurt but everybody expects him to play well. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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