NFL QBs Dropping Like Flies – Ben Roethlisberger Is Latest Casualty, But Was The Hit On Him Legal?

On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers watched starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger go down in a heap on the turf against the St. Louis Rams. He was rolling around and holding onto his left knee, and he’ll have an MRI, but an early thought is that he may miss four weeks. He would make the fourth starting QB in the NFL to miss time in the first three weeks, but was Mark Barron’s hit on him legal?

According to, Roethlisberger suffered the injury in the third quarter of Sunday’s game, and he had to be carted off the field. After the game, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he didn’t have a problem with the hit on his quarterback, but others appear to.

“He is being evaluated. We will get him an MRI. I will have more information for you the next time we get together.

“He is being evaluated. I gave you all of the information I have. I promise I will give you some more when we get it.”

ESPN started looking more into the hit and are trying to determine the legalities of the hit from St. Louis Rams’ safety Mark Barron. He blitzed from the left side of the Steelers’ line and stumbled while cutting inside.

Barron reached out toward Big Ben with his left arm and ended up plowing into Roethlisberger’s left leg with his left shoulder. After the game, Barron said he “tripped over somebody’s feet and on my way down I caught a piece of his leg.”

Replays didn’t appear to show Barron tripping over anyone.

While no-one is going around saying that Mark Barron was playing dirty and trying to hurt Roethlisberger, it did seem that his contact wasn’t legal by NFL definitions. Mike Pereira, the NFL’s former vice president of officiating, believes that a penalty should have been called on Barron.

Roethlisberger missing any amount of time means he will be the fourth starting quarterback in the NFL to go down to injury in the first three weeks of the season. Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo has a broken left clavicle, Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears has a hamstring injury, and New Orleans Saint Drew Brees has rotator cuff issues.

All have missed time, with Romo suffering the most serious injury of the four. Still, more tests need to be done on Ben Roethisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers could miss their quarterback for a few weeks and have to rely on Michael Vick.

[Image via Getty Images – Joe Sargent]