Ben Roethlisberger injury: QB hit 10 times, but Mike Tomlin defends O-line's performance

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
Bethany Cohen

Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers entered the 2021 NFL season knowing that he would have a revamped, young offensive line in front of him. But through two weeks of the NFL season, Roethlisberger has faced significant pressure from opposing defenses.

On Tuesday morning, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin spoke to the media during his weekly press conference and highlighted not just the offensive line but also Roethlisberger's apparent injury status.

Roethlisberger hit 10 times but Tomlin won't make changes to offensive line

Ben Roethlisberger was hit ten times on Sunday in a 26-17 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in the home opener at Heinz Field. Mike Tomlin revealed on Tuesday that Roethlisberger suffered a left pec injury. He is considered questionable for the Week 3 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Move of the day. Raiders DT Quinton Jefferson (#77) with the coffeehouse stunt (fake the stunt with headfake, then rush) as the LDE steps in and spins away to completely fool BJ Finney and get a free shot on Ben Roethlisberger. #Steelers

Tomlin did say the injury would affect Roethlisberger's ability to prepare for the week ahead.

In 2020, Roethlisberger missed an entire week of practice when he was considered a close contact of former tight end Vance McDonald, who has tested positive for COVID-19. When Roethlisberger returned in time for the game, ironically against the Bengals, it was his best performance all season long. So there might not be reason for concern when considering Roethlisberger's preparation.

Tomlin also said that the team as a whole has to be ready for anything. Could that mean Tomlin would consider starting a backup quarterback or just a change from aggressive passing to aggressive rushing? Either way, the Steelers offensive line will need to be ready.

#Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has a left pec injury. Coach Mike Tomlin says it will affect his preparation ability - and "We'd better be ready to be adjustable."

Speaking on the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive line, Tomlin was asked about the performance of the line in the first two weeks and if any adjustments were in the offing.

"We just got to keep working. Development is that... It doesn’t happen in an instant."

The offensive line is composed of completely different players than last season, and there are mostly rookies and second-year players trying to make an impression. But the offensive line is going to have to get better.

Roethlisberger is 39 years old and was hit ten times last week alone. To preserve the veteran quarterback, the offensive line will need to make some adjustments.

Meanwhile, the Steelers defense, which is already suffering from injuries, has another one to deal with. Tomlin said linebacker Alex Highsmith, who was integral in the pass rush in the absence of T.J. Watt and Devin Bush, also has a groin injury. His status is questionable for Week 3.

Edited by Colin D'Cunha
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