Before I get started on Ben Roethlisberger, I want to give a quick disclaimer. I have received some interesting feedback recently on my recommendations. Be sure to understand that I am not just giving you rhetoric to make me sound smart on these injuries; my goal is to give sharp and specific information that can literally help you win money. With this approach, I may be wrong here and there, as I do not give wide range explanations that allow me to be right no matter what the outcome is. In many cases I trap myself in a position in which I am either right or I am wrong. Sharp bettors and fantasy players can appreciate this as this type of approach has much more value than a long dissertation of facts and intelligent rhetoric that that never really gives a specific answer. For those who are not good managers of risk, for when these expert recommendations miss by a bit; you are not likely playing the fantasy game correctly. I tend to lean-to the DFS side of things, and I know that the information that I have provided has won money this season, because I am winning it. So in short, if you can’t handle not getting a “sure thing” explanation, you can stop reading now. For those who want to get real expert opinion that is capped with a specific answer that is much more likely to be right rather than wrong, I am your man.

Sorry for the rant; let’s get back to Big Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger has been diagnosed with a meniscus tear to his knee and is scheduled to have surgery on Monday. As I outlined with the Adrian Peterson case, a meniscus injury can be tricky as the outer part has good blood supply while the inner part does not. This plays a big role when it comes to healing, as areas that are rich in blood supply heal faster, while those with little or no blood supply heal slower.

Based on the reports that describe the procedure that Roethlisberger will undergo on Monday to be a “clean-up”, we can assume the injury to be the blood rich outer part of the meniscus which should be good news for Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh Steelers fans.

This will be an arthroscopic surgery which is literally one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures and Roethlisberger should be able to transition quickly to Physical Therapy. Physical Therapy will initially focus on reducing the swelling and pain in his knee and once these issues are stabilized, Roehtlisberger should transition to therapeutic exercises focused on stabilizing his knee before finally returning to football activity.

On the short end, Roethlisberger could be ready by week eight, but being that this will be the Pittsburgh Steelers bye-week, the earliest we should expect is week nine return versus the Baltimore Ravens. I would expect Roethlisberger to return by then, but at the very latest we should see him in week ten.

As with any other injury, or anything in life, this is not a “sure thing”; however it is a “more likely than not” thing. Orthopedic surgeons do hundreds of thousands of these procedures per year, and Physical Therapist like myself rehabilitate hundreds of thousands of these conditions per year. The text-book answer will support a two to four-week return as I have mentioned, but in real life I know that some recover even quicker and some take longer. We will have to listen out for how surgery goes and look for signs of how Ben Roethlisberger is moving around during the bye week. Don’t be surprised to see Roethlisberger walking with an assistive device in the week leading up to the New England Patriots, but if you are still catching glimpses of a hobbled Ben Roethlisberger as week nine approaches, that would be a sign that something is not right. 

I will update as needed on Twitter @DrPettyIRD, but otherwise hold tight to Roethlisberger if he is your fantasy quarterback for season long, and DFS players should take advantage of the doubters in week nine or ten, as when he returns he should be at full strength.

Good Luck!


Don’t forget to check me out over at FantasyPros.com every week for “Put him in the game OR Sit him on the bench” to get the latest take on the injured players of the week!

If I don’t cover the player you are interested in, contact me @DrPettyIRD before game time to get expert injury analysis that may save you from that poor performance or goose egg out of your fantasy player.

Good Luck!


Have you ever had a rock hit your windshield and leave a little crack? Unfortunately I can answer yes to this many times over. If you have had this happen a few times, you can appreciate that what starts off as a little tiny crack that you can barely see can eventually turn into a crack that extends the entire length of your windshield.

Once you have been burnt once with that windshield replacement deductible, you learn to get that crack sealed as soon as possible. What I have learned is that the more you drive, the quicker the crack expands. Once the crack is sealed, it will stop spreading and you are in the clear.

When it comes to hairline fractures to weight-bearing bones, they can be very similar to the windshield with the small crack. The biggest difference with this analogy is that our bodies don’t need a windshield repair place, they just need time.

The information is not clear on which bone is fractured in Dez Bryant’s knee, but you can assume that it is one of the weight-bearing bones of the knee based on the mechanism of injury. The importance of a weight-bearing bone as compared to a non weight-bearing bone is that weight-bearing can be a gift or a curse.

Weight bearing can be a gift in that many weight-bearing exercises can improve bone density and strength; but a curse because excess weight or force can also be the cause for fractures or a reason why they don’t heal well. With many fractures, weight-bearing will be restricted. Some patients carry a non weight-bearing designation, some are allowed partial weight-bearing, some are allowed to only touch their toes to the ground, and some are WBAT “weight-bearing as tolerated”. This is an imperative designation that is given by orthopedic surgeons which guides the patients therapy and their daily function.

As this evaluation progresses with Dez Bryant, I am sure that a medical professional will advise him on the risk associated with playing on this injury. If he is cleared by the medical staff, you can be sure that there is little to no risk of this fracture progressing. 

Without the specifics of the Dez Bryant case, I can not give a definitive prognosis; but if Bryant was on my fantasy team I would be working hard on my plan B now. My guess is that this will be a waiting game for Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys that will strictly depend on ongoing scans of the fracture site and how Bryant feels. I would be very surprised if he played this week, and if I had to take a guess I would assume a two to three-week absence.

The worst option here would be to just put him back on the field and let him play through it, as this puts him at risk for furthering this injury or possibly creating another injury. If the Dallas Cowboys and Dez Bryant play this right, Bryant should return at full strength in a few weeks and have no lingering effects from this injury and no significant changes with his injury profile. If they play this wrong, we could be in for a season long issue that would prove to be awful for Dez Bryant and all who are invested in him.

As we get more details, I will update my thoughts on this…