Ben Roethlisberger suffered a frightening injury on Sunday, one that forced the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback to be carted off the field and will likely keep him out for several more weeks.
The Steelers quarterback was sacked by Oakland Raiders defensive end Aldon Smith in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, leaving Roethlisberger in obvious pain. He had to be helped off the field by teammates, and Roethlisberger immediately went to the locker room.
UH OH. Ben Roethlisberger being helped off the field in Pittsburgh. pic.twitter.com/ciy1rJevls
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) November 8, 2015
It appeared that Roethlisberger hurt his ankle or foot when Smith fell onto him, Pro Football Talk noted.
NFL insider Adam Schefter reported that Roethlisberger likely sprained his foot, an injury that is expected to keep him out for several weeks.
Ben Roethlisberger has a foot sprain which will sideline him for a few weeks, @AdamSchefter reports.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) November 8, 2015
If true, that is likely good news for the Steelers who twice this year looked as if they might lose Roethlisberger for the year. His initial injury, suffered in a win over the St. Louis Rams, initially looked like it might have been a much more serious one, possibly an ACL tear.
This one looked similarly bad, with initial reports that Roethlisberger might be lost for the year.
There is not yet an official update on the severity of Ben Roethlisberger’s injury, but in the short-term, it is still a huge blow to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team is already down a star, running back Le’Veon Bell, who suffered a season-ending knee injury. Against the Raiders the team relied heavily on Roethlisberger’s play, and will likely continue relying on the passing game.
Roethlisberger had looked good against Oakland, throwing for 300 yards and two touchdowns while showing little effects of the injury that kept him off the field for more than a month. The Steelers were leading 35-28 when he left the field, but Oakland tied up the game on a touchdown pass by Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
In Roethlisberger’s absence, the Steelers have turned to Landry Jones. The Steelers ended up winning, kicking a field goal as time expired to win the critical game against the surprising Raiders, who this week were in the thick of the playoff hunt.
But if Roethlisberger’s injury keeps him out for long, it will be a huge blow to the Steelers, who are already too far back to catch the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals for the division lead and are in a tight race for the wild card.
While the team has not yet said how long Roethlisberger could be out, the quarterback was taken away from the field for further evaluation, which is likely a very bad sign.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 8, 2015
There could be other factors at play for Ben Roethlisberger’s potential return. The Steelers will likely not rush him back, especially now that he is working his way back from two separate injuries. They could also look for more help behind Landry Jones, who has looked crisp at times but is still struggling to stay consistent.
It’s unclear at this point who that might be, as the free agent pool for quarterbacks is light and the NFL trade deadline has already passed. It could also depend largely on when Roethlisberger might return, with a sooner return possibly leading the team to stick with Jones.
More updates on Ben Roethlisberger’s injury will be added as they come available.
[Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images]