The Pittsburgh Steelers had it all locked up. They were the second seed in the AFC playoff race, earning a first-round bye. They couldn’t get the first seed; Tennessee had the first seed and Pittsburgh lost to them last week. They couldn’t lose the first round bye. Today’s game against the Browns was essentially meaningless. So, why did the Steelers play their star quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, when he could get hurt?
With a 1:48 seconds left in the first half, the Steelers were winning 7-0. Things were looking up and most fans were expecting the Steelers to crush their rival, the Browns, who hadn’t scored an offensive touchdown in their last five games. Attempting to sack the quarterback, Cleveland linebackers Willie McGinest and D'Qwell Jackson attacked Ben and he went down hard. It was in no way a dirty hit.
Ben lied on the field for a good 15 minutes while Steelers fans had their mouths agape in horror. At half time, the Steelers confirmed that Ben Roethlisberger had suffered from a concussion. There is no word on how bad the concussion is or if Ben will play in two weeks in the playoffs.
Ben Roethlisberger stayed conscious the entire time after being transferred from the field to the locker room. On the way out, he held his thumb up while fans cheered. After that, he went to the ambulance for testing.
Meanwhile, the Steelers still had another half to play with Cleveland. Byron Leftwich took over. The Steelers are lucky to have a tremendous back-up quarterback, who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and had playoff experience.
The Steelers drafted “Big Ben” in the first round 2004. In his rookie year, Tommy Maddox got hurt and Ben became the starting quarterback. He went 13-0 as a starter in the regular season, but lost in the playoffs. He became the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl when the Steelers were victorious in Super Bowl XL in Detroit. In March, he signed an eight-year, $102 million contract. Many people consider him a franchise quarterback.
Steelers fans can only hope that Ben will be okay for the playoffs. Meanwhile, head coach Mike Tomlin will have to take the heat for even starting Ben. As I wrote about this hypothetical situation last week, was beating the Browns really worth Ben getting a concussion and possibly not playing in the playoffs?Powered by Sidelines