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Heyward-Bey on Big Ben: 'His arm's definitely all right'

With Ben Roethlisberger operating as a full participant in practice for the second straight day on Thursday, the Steelers are more than ready to welcome back their star passer.

"I don't know what (his knee's) feeling, but I do know he's throwing the ball well," said veteran receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "His arm's definitely all right."

After slithering through the past four games with Mike Vick and Landry Jones under center, the Steelers promise to emerge as a completely different beast with Big Ben at the controls for Sunday's critical AFC North showdown against the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals.

Roethlisberger's return means defenses can no longer stack the box against runner Le'Veon Bell or expect a lesser version of star wideout Antonio Brown, who especially lacked chemistry with Vick.

Offensive coordinator Todd Haley told reporters that he holds "no concerns" about a rusty Roethlisberger, saying: "Obviously, it's a potential issue when a guy hasn't played a bunch, but as we said at the start of the week, we have to get on track fast. That takes everybody. That means everybody needs to make plays when they get an opportunity."

The Steelers weren't themselves minus Roethlisberger, but the team held serve in his absence and remains a frisky playoff hopeful at 4-3. With Big Ben back in the mix, their ceiling has yet to be discovered in the AFC.

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