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Ben Roethlisberger to Return and Other NFL Notes

The Pittsburgh Steelers got some good news on Friday when it was announced that Ben Roethlisberger should be in the lineup when the team faces the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night.

Conor Orr of NFL.com reported, “Though this always appeared to be the conclusion, the Steelers (6-5) made it all but official by listing him probable (concussion) after he had another solid practice Friday.”

Roethlisberger has had health issues all season, and now with the team at 6-5, the leader of the Steelers offense will be on hand to help the unit and the franchise for the stretch run toward the playoffs.

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If the playoffs started today, the Steelers would be out of the postseason, as they are currently eighth in the division standings.

The Steelers will face a Colts team that is 6-5 and have won their past three games. Matt Hasselbeck will again be under center for the Colts while Andrew Luck is still dealing with a lacerated kidney.

In other NFL news…

PATRIOTS DEALING WITH INJURIES

The New England Patriots have ruled tight end Rob Gronkowski this week for the team’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The team also announced that wide receiver Danny Amendola is listed as questionable with a knee injury.

New England is already dealing with Julian Edelman being sidelined with a broken football.

Linebackers Jamie Collins (illness) and Dont’a Hightower (knee) as “questionable” for Sunday’s game.

Chris Wesseling on NFL.com is reporting that Amendola is expected to suit up, barring a setback. Collins confirmed this week that he’s ready to play. Sporting a new brace to support a sprained MCL, Hightower could be a game-time decision.

The injuries to the Patriots could not come at a better time for the Eagles, a team struggling and one that appears to be in disarray.

While it is unfortunate the Patriots are dealing with so many injuries, the game may play into Philadelphia’s hands, especially on defense. The team has given up 45 points in each of its last two contests.

No team in NFL history has given up 45 points or more in three straight games.

LEE TO START FOR THE JAGUARS

The Jacksonville Jaguars will face the Tennessee Titans for the second time in 18 days and hope to find the same results in the second of the teams’ meetings. A win, however will have to come without Allen Hurns in the lineup. The wide receiver suffered a concussion in the closing moments of the 31-25 loss to San Diego last week and has not cleared the league’s concussion protocol.

Hurns is the team’s second leading receiver behind Allen Robinson. In his place, Marqise Lee with get his first start of the season. He will sit out a game for the first time in his NFL career – he had played in the first 27 games.

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The Florida Times-Union is also reporting that running back Toby Gerhart and linebacker Dan Skuta will also miss the game on the road. None of the three players practiced this week and for Gerhart, it will be his fifth game of the year missed and third because of injury – he sat out Weeks 1-2 because of an abdominal issue.

KEEPING THE STREAK ALIVE

It all started 15 games ago. That’s how long it has been since the Carolina Panthers have lost a regular season game, dating back to last season. A win this weekend in New Orleans versus the Saints will wrap up the NFC South and a playoff spot for the undefeated team.

The Panthers should be a heavy favorite this weekend, given the Saints are reeling and Cam Newton and his offense are red hot and moving forward.

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