History shows that you can't count Ben Ben out for Sunday's game

Ben Roethlisberger has been ruled out for Sunday's game with a torn meniscus, but that doesn't mean that Big Ben will actually miss Sunday's highly anticipated matchup with the Patriots. 

As Tom Brady discussed earlier in the day, Big Ben has a history of playing when no one expects him to. In fact Roethlisberger had several such performances last season, a season that saw Roethlisberger miss parts of four games with varying injuries. 

After missing a month of the season with a knee injury, Roethlisberger suffered a mid-foot injury during the Steelers' Week 9 win over the Raiders. And despite being doubtful to play a week later against the Browns, "Backup" Big Ben entered the game after Landry Jones suffered an injury during the first quarter. Playing on one good foot, Roethlisberger threw for 379 yards and three scores while helping Pittsburgh get to 6-4 by their bye week. 

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Three weeks later, despite suffering concussion like symptoms against the Seahawks the previous week, Roethlisberger was back in the lineup for the Steelers' Week 12 matchup against the Colts and, as he did against the Browns, Big Ben was masterful, throwing four touchdown passes in Pittsburgh's 45-10 romp of Indianapolis. 

After a several week run of not getting injured, Roethlisberger once again fell victim to injuries when Vontaze Burfict injured his throwing shoulder in Pittsburgh's wild card game in Cincinnati. And despite leaving the game momentarily, Big Ben entered the game in the its final minutes and directed the Steelers on their game winning drive. 

The next week, with his shoulder still injured, Roethlisberger not only played, he carved up the Broncos' top-ranked pass defense, throwing for 339 yards in one of the gutsiest efforts of his career. 

That's why, despite undergoing surgery on Monday, many people -- the Patriots included -- have not ruled Big Ben out of Sunday's game. And even if he doesn't play, his sheer reputation for playing injured will force New England to spend the week preparing for him and Jones, who has only made two career starts entering Sunday's game. 

While there are more prototypical passers out there with gaudier numbers, there's no one tougher at quarterback than Ben Roethlisberger, the Jack Lambert of quarterbacks who continues to live up to that reputation as he looks to bounce back from an injury yet again. 

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