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Bill Belichick says Ben Roethlisberger presents a unique challenge

Ben Roethlisberger was sacked by Oakland defensive tackle Clinton McDonald last week.
Ben Roethlisberger was sacked by Oakland defensive tackle Clinton McDonald last week.(Ben Margot/Associated Press)

FOXBOROUGH – Ben Roethlisberger didn’t practice Wednesday as he recovers from a rib injury sustained Sunday, but it’s not uncommon for the Steelers quarterback to get a veteran’s day off mid-week. The Patriots have studied both Roethlisberger and backup quarterback Josh Dobbs as they get ready for a trip to Pittsburgh this weekend, but Bill Belichick acknowledged Wednesday that the starter is a special challenge.

“There’s only one Ben Roethlisberger,” Belichick said.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Roethlisberger, who has several rib contusions, should be able to play Sunday. The Patriots have still done their due diligence on Dobbs, who has good athleticism but Belichick noted is not just a running quarterback.

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Either quarterback will have at his disposal a pair of wide receivers Belichick had nothing but praise for. He called Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster “elite elite” at one point during a laudatory description of their many talents.

“You’re not going to get anybody better than these two guys,” Belichick said.


Nora Princiotti can be reached at nora.princiotti@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @NoraPrinciotti.9