After suffering a torn meniscus in his left knee during Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger expected to miss this week's tilt against the New England Patriots and then return after the team's bye week. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, though, a more likely timetable has him missing four to six weeks instead.

The injury

Roethlisberger suffered the injury during the first half of Sunday's game and was forced to miss an offensive series. The injury failed to keep him sidelined for long, as he returned to play the entire second half of the 30-15 loss.

His numbers were significantly hampered, though, as he went 19-for-34 with 189 yards and two interceptions against just one touchdown.

Thearthroscopic procedure was performed on Monday by Dr. James Bradley, who provided the Steelers with the updated timeline for a potential Roethlisberger return. The 34-year-old quarterback has a history of returning prior to his expected injury timeline, but as the quarterback gets up to the expected decline age in NFL quarterbacks, the team may be wise to give him as much time as possible to recover.

Pittsburgh prognosis

Pittsburgh has been one of the best teams in the NFL this season, stomping to a 4-2 record with their only hiccups against the Dolphins and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Roethlisberger has been an essential part of the team's success, having one of the best years of his career while playing three games without star running back Le'Veon Bell and the whole season without suspended wide receiver Martavis Bryant. Roethlisberger is first in the league in touchdown passes (16) and seventh in passing yards (1,685).

Roethlisberger will be replaced in the lineup by Landry Jones. Jones was drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft and has been one of the primary backups since then. Jones has made just two career starts and has 513 passing yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions.

Jones will make his first start of the season for the AFC North leaders at 4:25 ET Sunday against the AFC East leaders, the New England Patriots.

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