Patriots aren't buying that Ben Roethlisbeger is out for Sunday

Ben Roethlisberger might have been ruled out for Sunday, but the New England Patriots aren't buying it. 

On Monday, ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates reported that New England will prepare to face Big Ben heading into Sunday's game at Heinz Field. Roethlisberger suffered a torn meniscus on Sunday and is having surgery on Monday. 

"We're not expecting Big Ben to play on Sunday against the Patriots, but I know this much, what I've gathered from the Patriots, they will believe that Ben Roethlisberger is out for this game if 90 minutes before kickoff he is ruled inactive," Yates said.

"Date back to last year, he was actually ruled out on the injury report for a game, dressed, and of course Landry Jones started, Big Ben game off the bench. He was out, he was out for the game, and he threw for nearly 400 yards."

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Yates was referencing Roethlisberger's performance in Week 10 of last season, when "Backup" Big Ben threw for 379 yards and three touchdowns in a victory over the Browns after he was initially ruled out of the game after suffering a mid-foot injury the previous week against the Browns. Big Ben was summoned into action after Jones suffered an injury of his own on Pittsburgh's first possession against the Browns. 

Initial reports suggest that Roethlisberger will be sidelined for up to three weeks, which means that he would miss Sunday's game and possibly Pittsburgh's Week 9 matchup against the Ravens, as the Steelers have a bye week after Sunday's game. 

And while the Patriots' coaching staff isn't ruling Big Ben out, neither is their quarterback, Tom Brady, who praised Roethlisberger for his grit and toughness that Brady has grown accustomed to seeing in their decade-plus run of competing against one another. 

"He's one of the toughest guys in the league. I would never rule him out for anything," Brady said Monday morning on sports radio WEEI's "Kirk and Callahan Show."

"He's done that before and played and thrown for 400 yards. He's just a stud, just an incredible player. I've played against him since 2004, and nothing surprises me with him. He's one of the best quarterbacks I've ever played against. I would never count him out."

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