Thursday, December 22, 2011

If Roethlisberger sits, what message does it send?

It now appears to be at least a 50-50 proposition that the Steelers will rest Ben Roethlisberger this weekend against St. Louis.

Roethlisberger did not practice again Thursday and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians called him a game-time decision.

But what message does it send to the team if Roethlisberger, who said he feels better this week than he did last, doesn't play against the lowly Rams?

They don't need their best players to win?

They can afford to take the Rams lightly?

Roethlisberger did not suffer any kind of setback and if I were coaching the Steelers, he would at least start and hand the ball off a lot to Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman.

© It now appears the Steelers will keep Maurkice Pouncey out of this game as well. But at least Pouncey didn't play last week.

© It is probable that the Steelers will activate running back John Clay from their practice squad to replace injured Mewelde Moore.

Moore's injury, coupled with that of Jonathan Dwyer, leaves the Steelers with only Mendenhall and Redman.

24 comments:

adamg said...

All that says to me is that BR was wrong to try and play and the coaches were wrong to let him play Monday night. It's obvious in hindsight, descrection would have been the better part of valor.

It's different when a player can't make his injury worse by playing, but a grade 1 sprain can become a grade 2 or 3. Just because BR escaped SF without further damaging his ankle doesn't mean that will hold for this week.

Maybe the smartest route is to get both Batch and Dixon some work in case BR does get hurt again/worse and can't play.

TarheelFlyer said...

Adamg, medically it is very unlikely that stretched ligaments are suddenly going to become partially torn (grade 2) or completely torn (grade 3). It is a sprain, grade 1.

Anonymous said...

It's saying they can beat the Rams without him and see how things look next week regarding seeding and his ankle healing.

I think he plays.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Dale, but I think you're making the issue too big with "the message"

if he's too hurt he's out, that's all. He's out franchise qb and we need him for the playoffs as close to 100% as possible

Anonymous said...

The "message" should be this - hey you looked like crap playing with no practice last week, if you can't at least be a full participant in practice one day this week and look good doing so, you are going to sit.

John said...

To me I think the message is: "we tried to win the #1 seed and division last week. It didn't work and now we have to prepare for the playoffs by getting our most important player healthy enough for the playoffs. We'll take our chances that we can win this week's game against the Rams without him re-evaluate for next week against Cleveland. Having Ben healthy for the playoffs is more important than winning the division and for an example please see the Houston Texans."

superfan99 said...

To think that the AFC seeds are wrapped up is absurd. The Ravens at Cinci next week is very difficult match up for Baltimore. Even more so if the Bengals are fighting for their playoff lives. (No Boldin for Baltimore until the playoffs.)

If history tells us anything about the MIA vs. NE series, it's that anything is possible. Plus, NE will be without their top pass rusher.

The Steelers need to take a run at finishing 12-4. That has to include Ben playing.

adamg said...

IMHO, BR did hurt the team by playing at less than 100% and not practicing. Four turnovers and 3 points speaks for itself.

As to the ankle injury, even if unlikely, it's not really worth the risk of further damaging the ankle.

Anonymous said...

The message it sends is that some tool in NYC with a 1st gen Iphone is better connected to this team than any of the beaters.

joe said...

maybe it means "next man up" on the other hand, tomlin didn't call the league and give back the win after saying "if we don't score from the one on four attempts we don't deserve to win. "
i still wonder why they ir'd lefty. i think they would have went with him. time to ditch batch and dixon in the off season

adamg said...

They IR'd Lefty because they needed the roster spot. This year they just don't the space to hold a spot open for anyone.

Leftwich is a good example of why the NFL needs a shorter term IR, like maybe 10 weeks or after x date, instead of the whole season.

joe said...

they needed the roster spot for dixon ? bad decision. i agree the nfl needs a shorter ir option.

ibygeorge said...

If he is not starting, his gamer status is notched down by teammates. I agree, start against the Rams and then give the backups some playtime incase they are needed down the playoff road.

Anonymous said...

If Tomlin plays him, and Ben get's hurt further...the only message that is sent is that Tomlin can't see the big picture.

Tomlin needs to sit Ben, Pouncey, Woodley, and possibly Troy this week.

Anonymous said...

I would prefer to have Big Ben, Woodley, Sanders, etc. healthy and ready for the Browns on January 1.... That game is prep for the playoffs!! So if Big Ben needs to stay off that sprain, and that is the best way to get him healthy, then he shouldnt play against the Rams... I'm not so much worried he will hurt it more, just that he may still be limping in January!!

Yes, the Steelers are a better team with some backups playing!! Players need to step up as a team.

Right or wrong, I remember the Steelers holding out Polomalu in a game a few weeks ago. He was ready to go back in, but they held him back, cause he is VITAL part of our D, and need him healthy down the road... same principal here with Big Ben, IMO....

Todd said...

Batch to start. Just announced.

adamg said...

Joe, it wasn't necessarily a roster spot for Dixon, but some of the other players, younger guys, ST specialists, etc.

TarheelFlyer said...

What is says is the coaches truly believed that San Fran was a game that coupled with Raven loss was an opportunity to get the division. It was missed.

Chris said...

Playing Ben in the final two games is ludicrous. They already clinched a playoff spot. Even if they somehow win the division, they're not getting too far if he's banged up even worse.

What message does it send if he sits? One saying they have a shot to win it all.

marc said...

does there have to be a message? whay can't it be a game by game decision?

last week they thought, incorrectly, he could play and be effective. now they know that won't work, so they need to see more out of him in practice. they haven't, so he won't start.

anyone who has played with a sprained ankle knows you can make it worse, or at the very least stall the healing process. in light of the playoffs, and most likely a wild card game for the steelers, it makes no sense to push the issue with #7.

KT said...

I appreciate your point Dale, but I think if anything it is an implicit admission that it was wrong to play Ben against the 49ers -- or at least it was wrong to keep him in the game when it was clear that he could not even hustle to run the hurry up offense.

joe said...

if lefty doesn't get a broken arm, batch or dixon would have been cut. i would have been much happier with one backup qb for a time to keep lefty for this season.

i have no faith in either batch or dixon at this point. who knows though, batch may realize it is his final time on the field and put on a show

KT said...

Charlie Batch is 4-2 starting in relief of Ben. They say he looked rusty when he had to go into the game vs. Cleveland. OK, he also looked rusty when he went in last year at Tennessee, but looked pretty sharp the following week.

Batch also played well in preseason.

Anonymous said...

Batch hardly played during preseason. Tomlin kept him in bubblewrap for most of it. Didn't even play in two of their games.