Steelers have survived Roethlisberger's absence in past

Roethlisberger will probably return sooner, rather than later (1:38)

The NFL Live crew evaluates Ben Roethlisberger's knee injury and predicts realistic dates for his return. (1:38)

Ben Roethlisberger is expected to miss four to six weeks with a left knee injury and the Pittsburgh Steelers turn to Michael Vick as their starting quarterback.

Vick started three games for the Jets last season and saw extended action in two other games. He finished the season with a 52.9 completion percentage and a Total QBR of 21.4, the worst among all players with at least 100 pass attempts.

Since the start of last season, Roethlisberger has been among the best quarterbacks in the league, ranking fourth in the NFL with a Total QBR of 75.7. Among the 44 quarterbacks with at least 100 pass attempts over the last two seasons, Vick has the worst Total QBR at 16.9.

History backing up Ben

Roethlisberger took over as the Steelers starting quarterback in Week 3 of the 2004 season. Since then he has missed 16 games, with the Steelers going 9-7 in those games. Each time Roethlisberger has missed four games in a season, the Steelers have made the Super Bowl.

Since Roethlisberger's arrival in Pittsburgh, he is 11-7 in his career against the Baltimore Ravens, their Week 4 opponent. The rest of the Steelers quarterbacks to start a game against their division rival are 1-5.

Highs and lows of Ben's backups

Charlie Batch spent seven seasons as Roethlisberger's backup and went 6-3 in nine games as the starter. Arguably his best performance as Roethlisberger's fill-in came in the 2006 season opener against the Miami Dolphins. Batch was 15-of-25 for 209 yards and three touchdowns. He outplayed the opposing quarterback that day, Daunte Culpepper, who had zero touchdowns and two interceptions.

Perhaps the worst performance by a Roethlisberger backup also belongs to Batch. In Week 12 of the 2012 season, Batch threw three interceptions with no touchdowns in a six-point loss against a Cleveland Browns team that was 2-8 entering the day. That was the last start in Batch's career.