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Roethlisberger unlikely to play against Rams


Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said Ben Roethlisberger will be a game-time decision this week, but I can’t see him playing against the Rams.
Roethlisberger didn’t practice again today, and when asked if his ankle is better than it was a week ago, Arians said, “Really haven’t seen him do anything to tell that. He’s walking a little better.”
Arians deferred to coach Mike Tomlin when asked if Roethlisberger needs to practice in some form Friday to play against St. Louis. He did the same when asked why the Steelers wouldn’t put Roethlisberger under center Saturday if they played him in San Francisco.
“I’ll see what coach says,” Arians said.
Arians said Roethlisberger didn’t make his left ankle worse by playing against the 49ers, which is why the Steelers didn’t pull him after San Francisco had built a 17-point lead. And one thing working in favor of Roethlisberger and the Steelers is they don’t have to travel across the country this week.
“It’s huge for all the guys that have injuries because when you get on that plane you swell like crazy,” Arians said. “You work the next day to get the swelling back out and it’s hard on them. It sets you back when you have to do that. That’s one of the reasons we left (center) Maurkice (Pouncey) home so he wouldn’t get a setback just by flying.”
How much of a benefit not flying is to Roethlisberger’s sprained left tackle is probably cancelled by the schedule, as the Steelers pay for the break they received from playing a Thursday-night game.
A quick turnaround wouldn’t be a big deal under normal circumstances since we’re talking about the Steelers having to play a two-win Rams team. But it means Roethlisberger will have to play just five days after hobbling his way through a 20-3 loss in San Francisco.
I can’t see that happening.
There is a lot of risk and the reward factor is negligible considering the Steelers should be able to beat the Rams with Charlie Batch playing quarterback.
Batch has taken most of the first-team snaps since Roethlisberger got hurt. And the 14th-year veteran is much more prepared to play than on Dec. 8, when Roethlisberger’s ankle injury thrust Batch into the Browns game.
“We all have confidence in Charlie,” Arians said. ”You just have to create two game plans. One that fits Charlie, one that fits Ben.”
Arians said the Steelers were prepared to go with Batch in San Francisco until Roethlisberger moved around well enough in pre-game warm ups to convince the Steelers he could play.
Arians said the Steelers will take the same approach this week, but I think the decision to start Batch and sit Ben will have been made before then.
If it hasn’t already been made.

— Scott Brown



  1. David says:

    Would like to see Ben throw over 4,ooo yards. He only need 144, and the talk of this might be WARDS last year is a very sad thought. :_(

  2. Dick says:

    The great equalizer in the NFL is “injuries.” For this reason alone the Steelers must not take the remaining games for granted. If Ben does not start on Saturday, then so be it. We all know he would be out there on one leg if it were up to him. This will produce an opportunity to evaluate the backup QB situation as well as allow Ben time to heal before the playoffs. First things first though as there is still a slight chance of winning the division and winning is the priority here. Dixon is leaning to free agency and Batch is getting long in the tooth. This has to be addressed and I hope management sees this too. If we can take a healthy team into the playoffs then no matter where we are seeded we have a very good chance. Nobody should take the Steelers lightly. Get well Ben!

  3. Jay Walker says:

    Di: Couldn’t agree with you more. We look old, tired and beaten right now. And our head coach (ahem) has no answers as usual.

  4. EddieDean says:

    Scam in Burgerville??? What is going on? Playing Rothlisberger injured and Risking the possibility of an even more catastophic injury.. Where is the NFL in this context with Player safety Issues? I am completely mystified by the decisions being made by Steeler management Brain trust !! Plus, factoring in the Playoff Implications., could Charlie Batch be so much less the Player than an Injured Rothlisburger???.. Additionally, the treatment of Ward is scandalous to say the least..
    This sceneiro stinks to high heaven!! I say again.., What is Going On?? Is there something more to this than what is being revealed??

  5. David says:

    i say let Ben go over 4,000 then sit him…. averages 72 yards thesa last 2 games…. lol…. Where is Ward… whaere is ward…. where is ward…..

  6. Kevin says:

    I do not have any faith in Tomlin…Lets face it he makes terrible decisions and he treats Ward like crap…I have no respect for Tomlin.

  7. pamedict says:

    The decision to play Ben against San Fransisco was a poor one at best! WHO is the coach of the team? They had already clinched the playoffs and obviously by playing Ben they exposed the severity of his injury and didn’t do anything for his rehabilitation for the playoffs. The “Red Badge of Courage” wasn’t necessary here and Ben was the biggest reason the Steelers lost. He couldn’t move correctly, threw poorly and exercised bad judgement throughout the entire game as evidenced by the score. Let Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon play the next two games and get them ready for the playoffs and Ben needs to sit on the bench and rest his injured ankle!

  8. Marty says:

    Rest Ben. We’re in and it’s not likely we’d be #1 or #2 seed so we’re really only talking about home vs. road game in the wild card weekend. Right now it looks like we’d get Houston. I’m willing to do that and not risk Ben.

    Dennis Dixon should start. I am not confident at all with Batch. With our banged up O-line we need a quarterback that can move a little. Plus we can see if the Steelers need to draft a back-up QB next year.

    Besides, I am more concerned that we have a soft defense that gives up way too may easy yards in the middle of the field and loses too many tackles. If the Steelers lose anywhere along the way, it’ll be because of that.

    Forget the stats. If we lose, we lose. But it all proves that Ben may be the real MVP in the league this year.

  9. Rick says:

    Ben didn’t practice again Thursday, so my take is that they will probably force him to sit.
    If they have game planned for Batch, we might see a better performance than the brief stand in from the Browns game.
    As for Ward, I think it is simply getting more reps for the young crew and Ward will get his. Ben was more hampered than we suspect in SF.
    Ben sits this one, comes back for finale at Browns, gets his 4000 yards, Ward rips Brownies a new one (again). McCoy sees Harrison and falls down on the sidelines, league fines Harrison for perceived threat of hard hit to lowered target zone.
    Merry Christmas all.

  10. Carl says:

    I think this will work out. For a playoff run, we NEED a healthy BB, a mobile, elusive, hard to bring down BB that makes us a threat to beat ANY team. Besides, if we can’t beat this Rams team at home with Batch at the helm, then we don’t belong in the playoffs.

    Bright side thought here, things are setting up nicely once again for us for a shot at home games and a bye, still! The Texans have lost again, boy they really sh*t the bed over the last two weeks. I still think Cincy helps us out and beats the Douchebirds. And who knows, maybe Miami or Buffalo can pull a major upset in NE. Kinda doubting that, but whatever. A 2nd or 1st seed is still REALLY possible!

  11. Scott P says:

    Does anybody really care what Arians has to say? Seriously??

  12. eyeheartbrucearians says:

    Ravens’ WR Boldin out for Bungles game in season finale…

    WHO DEY!

  13. David says:

    actually, Ben should sit and rest that ankle, just knowing he can throw for over 4,000 yards and still not get mentioned with these other so callede elite quarterbacks is just as good, 3 superbowls with 2 wins,,,,,,,, even Tbow is talked more of then Ben ever got talked about… Go Steelers, and 7th Heaven is in the cards….

  14. Cerone says:

    I have officially given up trying to understand what the Steelers do whether it has to do with playing an ailing Big Ben, developing and executing a game plan geared toward a particular opponent (except for the Pats game), handling the most prolific WR in Steelers history, or establishing some sort of identity on offense. Tomlin and gang have nearly lost me. Talk about hobbling into the playoffs. I hope they can dominate these last two games (as they should) and get healthy. Go Steelers…

  15. Doug Halfen says:

    ^^^ Yes, LeBeau’s plan against the Patsies was the sole example of excellent scheming this season. He finally figured out how to make Brady look all-too-human (i.e., partial zone coverage masked as full man in a 4-6 look that would intimidate the heck out of ANY quarterback — see the Jets’ defeat of the Patsies in last season’s playoffs!).

    The offense, on the other hand, is an erratic mess. Injuries hurt (but they’re a given), but this unit can’t establish ANY kind of rhythm, and BA goes all pass-happy too often. When it works, our O is amazing, but we can’t stay amazing for 4 (or 3, even 2!!) quarters. :facepalm:

    (Really, it reminds me of Tomlin’s first season, where the playoff loss to the Jags came almost as a bit of relief… That O was _horrible_.)

    Pull it together, boys, or we’re going to make an early landing in the offseason — and we REEEEEEEEALLY don’t want to crash in _that_ jungle.

  16. eyeheartbrucearians says:

    John Clay, I hereby dub thee the “Claymore.”

  17. eyeheartbrucearians says:

    CBatch for the probowl! Get your votes in!

  18. Chuck H. says:

    Ben probably won’t be game ready for next week against the Brownies. Does
    anyone out there know where Dennis Dixon is? If he is still with the Steelers, why
    doesn’t he get a chance to play? It would be nice to have a qback who could run with
    the ball when necessary. ie Tebow or Newton.

  19. Dick says:

    Have to hand it to Charley B. Great job coming in as the backup qb and nice game management. I still think Wallace scored on that long pass. The ball was bobbled and not secured until he was in the endzone. I’m still trying to figure out that call. Also, kudos to Mendenhall on some tough running. Thought the O-line played well even with the loss of Legursky. Hope he’s back next week. Can’t forget the wideouts conrtribution as they continue to be a strength of this team. Let’s finish strong against the Browns and hope for a Bengals upset of the Ravens.

  20. k2 says:

    Hey Steeler Nation “MERRY CHRISTMAS”!!!!!

  21. David says:

    heres to next week, I am temporarily a Bengal fan next week wearing my black and gold Steelers colors with a tinge of orange mixed in, but without question as soon as that game is over i will shed the orange with a disdained look because i was wearing it in the name of the Bengal. The Steelers should win this game without Ben, because our Defense will rise against whatever quarterback Cleveland dares to put under center, and if it should be Colt again, you know the ghost of Harrison will be a haunting factor….. Here we go Steelers, here we go!…….

  22. eyeheartbrucearians says:

    Steelers fans to the rescue! Sell out that jungle gym! I heard they are offering two-for-one ticket prices, all the IC Light you can drink, plus Cincinnati cheerleaders will wear bags on their heads!

  23. David says:

    its a blessing in disguise that we still have a shot at the number 2 seed and or home field through out the playoffs, something tells me the Ravens will be denied the North title just because it is never intended for them to ultimately get the best of the black n gold…. “quoth, The Raven………..

    the ravens or better known throughout Steelers country as The Ratbirds, Crow…. will lose tot the Bengals this week coming, we the Steelers will win, and the Patriots will lose to for us to have the playoffs go through Hines Field where Hines Ward will put on a sequal of Stellar Performances………

  24. Rick says:

    This is a real scenario…
    NE plays Buff, Buff could win.
    Ratbids play Bungles, go orange and black. Pussy cats could win.
    We play Pixies (Brownies, heh heh), we should win.

    IF all of that works out we are #1 seed cause we will be tied with NE and we beat them, remember.

    If Pats win and Ratbirds lose, then we are #2 seed.

    We have 2 – 1000 yard receivers, and a back near 1000 (needs to get it cranked up for playoffs and hit 1000 yards). We need to REALLY start fine tuning this (potentially) potent offense to compliment our defense.

    Ben will play if he safely can, otherwise Batch will be fine.

  25. eyeheartbrucearians says:

    cooonk, woooo, coooonk woooo. Oh, I’m sorry, I fell asleep. It must be real hard being a Pittsburgh sportswriter. How old is this post? I don’t know! Jesus! (and I am only referring to my lawn care) What the hell are the PTR sportswriters doing? I mean, you can celebrate Christmas, Channakuhh, and Kwaanzaa, for God’s sake, and put another post on this page. What does the job pay? You can get an “occupier” to post some news here! Helloo? Heeloo? can you maybe do some work for your, apparently, too much pay?

  26. eyeheartbrucearians says:

    John Kuhn, pro bowl FB. Hmmmmm….

  27. David says:

    i have a topic if anyone caRES to read and respond……… with all the delay, tauntinting, unsportsman like conduct, ie: goodell rules,, i have a question! Should the Lambeau Leap be banned, it does fall in the category of accessive celabration, delay of game, and it could be on the borderline of taunting!….. mmmm, something to ponder… i know the Lambeau Leap is as iconic as The TERRIBLE towel, but the towel is more of a fan base and its more in the stands, but think about it for a moment before you answer that, and play into the thought of all the eroneus rules being made up as we go in this league here recently….. and eyeheart, I agree with you, this blog has been up since moses and I for one would like fresh stuff to blog on heading into the playoffs…..

  28. Carl says:

    Rick- its a nice thought, but I don’t see any way in hell NE loses to Buffalo. Would be great….. However, the Ravens choking I think is a very real possibility. What with Cincy needing that win to get in. A good thing they flexed our game til late, if these scenarios don’t happen, we can rest players, our game won’t matter at that point…

    David- I like ur point. Not sure why that’s allowed. NFL’s got some wonky rules on TD celebrations. No props, no hitting the ground, etc. But it’s ok to dive into the endzone and hit the ground… Whatever I guess….

  29. Rick says:

    Remember the Pats last loss, was an upset. So I am not really stretching things.
    That was the week we needed to win and didn’t, but we are still not out of it yet.

    Funny, what with all the Tebow-ing nonsense. If we are #5, guess who we will probably play?

    Yeah, 2 weeks with same blog, nothing new. Must be a holiday or something I’ve missed. :p

  30. David says:

    Ray Lewis made the pro bowl, I hope they voted his ghost in too cause Ray-Ray has dine nothing if late to be in the pro bowl.

  31. Carl says:

    Yeah, Pro bowl you gotta take it with a grain of salt. Fan voting plays a big part, guys get in that don’t necessarily deserve it. That’s why Ray Lewis will be there til he retires. On our side, Pouncey didn’t deserve it this year, but he’s the starter. Maybe they meant to vote Mike Pouncey in, lol!

  32. eyeheartbrucearians says:

    Hey, does anyone know whose idea it was to end the season with intra-division games? Players Assoc.? Owners? Please don’t tell me it was Goodell’s idea, because it is a great idea. The only question is, why weren’t they doing it forever?

    The Probowl’s days are numbered. You can’t risk a freak injury playing in that yawning fiasco. The Probowl should be a weekend where the “Probowlers” just interact with the fans and compete in skills competitions. It should double as a charity event. First team should be selected by players and coaches only. Second team should be fans’ choices.

    As for this weekend’s games, I won’t be at all surprised if the Steelers, Bengals and Bills all win.

    The Lambeau leap will be banned after James Harrison reurns an interception for a TD in this year’s Super Bowl, leaps into the luxury boxes and makes helmet to head contact with Roger Goodell. Harrison will explain that Goodell lowered his head at the last moment. End of story.

  33. Carl says:

    Hey, Eyeheart, I would pay the price of a 50 yardline seat 10 rows up at the freakin’ Superbowl to see that happen! :-D

    Maybe he could knock Goodell loopy enough that he would be out for an “indefinite” about of time, and we could have some defense be played for a year….. You know doctors clearance to come back and all.

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