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Big Ben: “No Doubt” Luck Will Play

There are myriad reasons to compare Pittsburgh Steelers veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and relative youngster Andrew Luck of Indianapolis. They’re both incredibly mobile for such big men, both have cannons for arms, and neither gives up on any play.

But for all their similarities, their toughness may be their most comparable traits. And it’s that attitude that has Big Ben convinced Luck will take the field on Thanksgiving night.

With Luck currently in the concussion protocol, the game is shaping up as a pivotal fixture for each team’s late-season charge towards the playoffs.

“There is no doubt in my mind that he is going to play,” Roethlisberger told local media on Tuesday. “He is a tough competitor, it’s Thursday night, it’s at their place and it’s Thanksgiving. I anticipate him playing and you have to, because he’s one of the best in the game.”

But Big Ben’s words of certainty also came with caution. Ultimately, unlike many other purely physical injuries, Luck will have no say if the medical staff deems he has not fully recovered from his concussion.

For all his starts despite injury during his career, Roethlisberger has firmly expressed that he will “play through any injury but brain.” He knows that an injury of this severity isn’t to be taken lightly.

“The brain is nothing to mess with. He is young and has a long career ahead of himself,” Ben added. “There were many times that I haven’t told anybody that I…had a concussion. Looking back on it I wish I wouldn’t have. You have to be smart when it comes to your brain because you only play football for such a short period of your life. When you have a family and people that you are going to be with for the long-term, you have to really make sure your health is taken care of.”

In the event that Luck can’t go on Thursday, the Colts will start former Packers backup Scott Tolzien. The sixth-year QB hasn’t started a game since 2013, and has thrown for 1 touchdown and 5 interceptions in his career.

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