It was a sight that Steelers fans cringe at, but one that we’ve come to expect to see a few times a season – QB Ben Roethlisberger lying on the ground in pain.

Sunday against the Hawks, the franchise QB threw a scare into the Steelers when he went down after a low hit to his knee by Seattle’s Raheem Brock. He missed two plays but came back in and played the whole rest of the way as the Steelers went on for the 24-0 win.

Roethlisberger had a decent enough game, going for 22-for-30 for 298 yards with a short TD pass to Mike Wallace. He was high on a number of balls, and overthrew a couple of receivers and running backs.

The big question now is – can they keep him on the field without getting killed? The O-line is still very much a work in progress, and while they have tried different players and combinations, they have to figure out a way to keep Ben upright.

As we have seen with other teams that have big name and/or franchise QB’s, the entire team changes should that player go down. Just ask the Colts what it’s like without Peyton Manning, or how the Eagles felt last night without Mike Vick.

Those that disagree will point to the Steelers 3-1 start last season without Roethlisberger, but let’s be real, this team can’t win long term with Roethlisberger on the bench hurt.

It’s up to Mike Tomlin, O-line coach Sean Kugler, and even some input from Bruce Arians to find a way for this situation to get better.

A couple more hits on Roethlisberger like what happened on Sunday, and the Steelers hopes of making it back to the Super Bowl will go right out the window.

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