Ben Roethlisberger might be a little banged up following the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-12 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, but he says it won’t be enough to keep him out of next week’s playoff game in Kansas City.
The Steelers quarterback suffered an ankle injury during the Steelers’ final offensive possession when he threw a pick to Miami’s Xavien Howard.
With less than five minutes remaining and the Steelers ahead 30-12, Roethlisberger attempted a downfield pass before being brought down by Miami’s Cam Blake. Roethlisberger came up limping after the play, but made it off of the field under his own power.
The fourth-quarter play on his last pass attempt in which Ben Roethlisberger was hurt, via @EthanHesse. pic.twitter.com/Eril81qHeY
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 8, 2017
Ben Roethlisberger said in the postgame press conference that he always worries about getting injured.
“You’re always worried about getting hurt, but I’ll be out there next week,” Roethlisberger said.
Roethlisberger finished the game throwing 13-18 for 197 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
He added that he wasn’t aware of the extent of the injury, but reaffirmed he would play next week.
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was not asked about Roethlisberger’s injury, but he was unaware of his quarterback’s status at the time of his press conference.
This isn’t the first time the quarterback has been injured this season against the Dolphins. In Week 6, he damaged his meniscus and underwent surgery that caused him to miss one game of what was supposed to be a four-to-eight week recovery.
Ben Roethlisberger might be one of the most fragile quarterbacks currently playing in the NFL. He’s missed 16 games due to various injuries since 2005, according to Sports Injury Predictor.
The most serious of those injuries came last year when he sprained his MCL causing him to miss four games.
As a result, the Steelers are used to playing without their star quarterback, but it won’t keep him out of the AFC divisional game against Kansas City.
— James Walker (@JamesWalkerNFL) January 8, 2017
At 34-years-old, Roethlisberger is nearing the end of his career and won’t be able to take many more injuries to his ankles and knees.
The two-time Super Bowl champion signed a five-year extension in 2015 worth $99 million that should allow him to finish out his career with Pittsburgh.
So far this season, Roethlisberger has thrown for over 3,800 yards and 29 touchdowns, which is the third best of his career. He only threw more regular season touchdowns in 2014 and 2007, where he had 32 in each year.
As far as the Steelers’ opponent next week, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid expects most of his injured players to return. The bye week should allow Justin Houston and Spencer Ware to make full recoveries and be ready to go for next Sunday’s divisional round matchup at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Chiefs will need Houston back in order to stop the Steelers ground threat backed by running back Le’Veon Bell. Bell rushed for 167 yards on 29 carries and a pair of touchdowns in this week’s Steelers win.
They’ll also have to contain one of the best wide receivers in the NFL in Antonio Brown. Brown isn’t having a career year by any stretch, but he has added 12 touchdown catches, including two in the Steelers’ Wild Card victory over the Dolphins.
Though the Chiefs’ home crowd, one of, if not the loudest in the country, will give them a competitive advantage when Pittsburgh comes to town.
The Steelers and Chiefs are set to play at 12:05 p.m. CT on NBC.
[Featured Image by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images]