Ben Roethlisberger returns from ban
Roethlisberger was reinstated by the NFL Monday following a four-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians already had drawn-up plays waiting for him to review. Roethlisberger attended a team meeting in advance of Tuesday's practice, his first since training camp.
"One of the worst parts about it is that I love football and I miss that more than anything. But to be away from my guys, my brothers, my family, that was one of the worst parts and that's what made coming here today so great," Roethlisberger said.
He said he received a warm reception from his teammates.
"Every single one of the guys I've seen gave me a big hug. I was just so happy to see that and they were so happy to see me as well," Roethlisberger said.
Roethlisberger said he worked on his game during his suspension. He said his arm is ready and would be ready to play on Sunday if the schedule called for it.
"I worked out a lot. I worked out for two, two and a half hours. I worked out more than I would and threw more balls than I would have here. I worked with a quarterbacks coach on footwork, technique, film, things like that," he said.
The Steelers were 3-1 in his absence and established themselves as one of the top teams in the AFC.
"I think there's a lot of great chemistry on this team right now," Roethlisberger said. "They are playing great football on offense, defense and special teams from what I've been able to watch of the games. I'm not coming to try to be anything more than what I am. I'm just trying to be helpful and do whatever I can to help this team win football games."
Roethlisberger said that his absence from the team made him appreciate the preparation that goes into being an NFL player. He had missed games before due to injury, but this was the first time football was taken away from him for an extended period.
"I hate being away from football. [I learned] how much you appreciate meetings and practice and the guys," he said.
Pittsburgh has a bye before playing the Cleveland Browns (1-3) at Heinz Field on Oct. 17.
"I want to play this week. That's the hard part; I want to be out there right away," Roethlisberger said. "But it's a good thing to have two weeks of practice. But my arm is ready. I'm not worried about my arm. I think the biggest thing is refreshing my mind with the offense and getting timing down with these guys."
James Walker covers the AFC North for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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