PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger says that he’s still working his way back from injury, and isn’t sure of his status for Sunday’s divisional round game against the Broncos yet.
Roethlisberger made those comments as he joined The Cook and Poni Show on Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan for the #1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show which airs every Tuesday morning at 11 am during the Steelers season.
Ben said that he sprained his AC joint and tore some ligaments in his shoulder in the second half against the Bengals, after he was sacked by Vontaze Burfict.
“It didn’t hurt when I reached back to throw,” Roethlisberger said of his heroic late-game drive. “But it was pushing forward to throw and then the end of the throw. So I definitely felt like I was shortening up my motion up a little bit, which is why we threw some screens, and couldn’t really get the ball down the field… I think it just more affected how I could throw it.”
Roethlisberger is still trying to work his way back from the injury.
At his weekly press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin, confirmed that Ben has a chance to play.
“We’ll manage him day to day, he’ll probably be a limited participant,” Tomlin said.
“It’s definitely sore,” Roethlisberger said. “I think it’s a little bit better than it was, but we’re still going to just take it day-by-day.”
He followed up with more details on his timeline for recovery.
“I’ll go in tomorrow with the intent to see what I can do,” Roethlisberger said. “I honestly don’t know. I haven’t tried to throw a football since the game, and maybe that’s not even the right thing to do right away. I’ll see the doctors and trainers tomorrow, we’ll evaluate kind of how I feel. If anything, maybe I can practice and hand off and still get some mental reps that way. So we’ll really just kind of see how it goes tomorrow.”
Roethlisberger didn’t have a problem with what Burfict did on the play.
“I do not think it was a dirty hit,” Roethlisberger said. “I think he was playing the game… I know that there is some video of him supposedly kneeing me, or kicking me, or whatever, but I don’t think there was anything intentional.”
Roethlisberger did, however, have a problem with Bengals fans pelting him with trash while he was carted to the locker room.
“I actually got hit by a can, a bottle, or what(ever) it was,” Roethlisbeger said. “It hit my foot. And I was just thinking, boy, we can’t get into this locker room fast enough. It’s sad that that has to happen… when that happens, it’s not very good.”
Burfict not only injured Roethlisberger in the game, but also hurt Antonio Brown, leveling a vicious hit on the star wide receiver that led to a penalty that helped the Steelers win the game, but also resulted in a head injury for Brown.
Head coach Mike Tomlin says Brown is in concussion protocol and there has been no update.
“We’re hopeful, but we respect the protocol,” Tomlin said.
Roethlisberger did not have a serious problem with that hit, either.
“I think he was just trying to make a play,” Roethlisberger said. “As fast as the game is, as fast as all that happens, you’ve got to be pretty good to intentionally try and do something like that. Do I think it was a penalty? Yes. I think that it was a hit to a defensive player to the head, absolutely. But I don’t think it was an intentional hit.”
Roethlisberger didn’t have too much of an update on Brown, but offered up what he could.
“He said he was feeling better today,” Roethlisberger said. “But obviously that doesn’t mean that he’s passed any tests. We’ll keep praying for him and hoping that he can get out there.”
Finally, Roethlisberger commented on the controversy surrounding Joey Porter appearing to mix it up on the field, an incident that led to Bengals cornerback Adam Jones earning himself a personal foul in frustration, giving the Steelers the chance to kick a relatively easy game-winning field goal.
“Honestly, Joey comes out there to help AB off the field,” Roethlisberger said. “People are making a big deal about him being out there, and why was he out there. Well, I think it makes a lot of sense why he’s out there. Offensive coaches aren’t going to go out there because we’re trying to draw up plays for the next play, and how can we move the ball down the field. Joey’s still a passionate guy, he’s a young coach. He’s going to be able to help, if he needs to carry him off, help get him off the field. I think it makes a lot of sense that Joey’s out there to help a player off the field.”
Coach Tomlin confirmed that Porter did not receive the “game ball” as has previously been reported.
Running back DeAngelo Williams has yet to practice for the team and his status is also up in the air.
“DeAngelo is still kinda on the outside looking in. I’m leaving the door ajar for him,” Tomlin said.
Kickoff for Steelers vs. Broncos in Denver is set for 4:40 pm on Sunday on KDKA-TV.
The #1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show is heard exclusively every Tuesday at 11 am during the Steelers season on The Cook and Poni Show on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.