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The Question Every Steelers Fan Wants to Know: Can This Team Win if Roethlisberger Misses Extended Time?

Pittsburgh Steelers v St. Louis Rams

In 2007 the Steelers and Rams did battle on a Thursday night late in the season, a season in which running back Willie Parker was having his best pro season, rushing for over 1300 yards.

On the first carry of the game, Parker took a pitch, ran to the right, and crumbled. He suffered a fractured right fibula, ending the season for the Steelers workhorse back.

Sunday in St.Louis, the person who handed off to Parker that day, Ben Roethlisberger, appeared to suffer a crushing knee injury that as of now could have him missing at least four weeks and possibly more depending on a MRI Monday.

Just call the Edward Jones Dome the house of horrors for the black and gold.

Yes the Steelers got the win, but at the same time the team losing Big Ben gladly would have been traded for a loss if the QB would have escaped without the injury.

Now the team has to get ready for a short week against their biggest rivals in the Ravens, a team that will limp into Heinz Field on Thursday 0-3 and playing for their NFL playoff lives more or less when they take the field.

How much will the game plan change with Michael Vick taking over for Ben? Plenty.

First there’s the fact that Vick wasn’t with the team through most of training camp, and also the fact that on a weekly basis he doesn’t get many snaps with the likes of Antonio Brown and company, but instead runs the scout team in practice.

Ugh.

After the game Sunday, it was all about the injury to their franchise QB, and now the what appears to be a bleak future in 2015 without him.

“When you see him down, I just grabbed my helmet and got ready to go. Hopefully things will work out for him. We all want it to work out for him. We just gotta keep our fingers crossed,” Vick said after the 12-6 win.

“I spoke to him at the locker when we got into the locker room and we talked, and he congratulated me. My concern is his health and how he’s doing. Ben’s a great guy. He’s the guy that we all look up to in this locker room. He’s the centerpiece. I was brought here for a reason, so I have to hold it down until No. 7 gets back.”

When Ben gets back, IF he gets back will be the biggest question. If Vick can hold down the fort, win a few games and hopefully Ben recovers, the sky may not be falling as it feels right now.

“It’s always disheartening when your leader takes a fall and goes down,” wide out Antonio Brown said.

“I’ve never seen him down so it was a little shocking, so I just asked him how he was doing. He said he was alright and he’ll be back.”

But will he be back, and will it be this season? That’s the biggest question as Steelers fans hit their pillows tonight.

If not, the 2015 season will be on life support three weeks in. We’ve all seen Ben bounce back before. Here’s to hoping that his ACL is as tough as his resolve.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. DaveB

    September 27, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    The Pittsburgh Steelers 2015 season hinges on the MRI that will be taken of Bens knee . Its just as simple as that . If its a sprain , he and the team still have a chance . If its worse case scenario , and its a ligament tear , the Steelers are done , you can stick a fork in them . The play that Ben was hurt on was a routine play with a guy falling down and his momentum carried him into the side of Bens leg . Nothing dirty or underhanded , its just football . With that being said , there is still enough talent on offense with Bell , Brown and Miller , that the team will be competitive , but as far as a Super Bowl run , thats not happening in 2015 . One other observation . Will someone please explain why we traded a 5th round draft pick for a starting cornerback , namely one Brandon Boykin , and this guy is standing on the sidelines three games into the season ? We needed help at the position and this guy was a better than average player for the Eagles . This makes no sense whatsoever .

  2. DrGeorge

    September 27, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Since Batch and Leftwich retired, we have lamented here the lack of contingency planning for the inevitable day when Ben R. would be unable to play. That day has now arrived, and the lack of a solid alternative is now obvious to everyone. Tomlin’s favorite phrase in such cases is, “Next man up.” Only the next man up is a QB who did not go through preseason with the team and who has a very different playing style from Ben R. As this article admits, the game plan will have to change because Vick is a completely different type of QB. That is, of course, the whole, very obvious point.

    This is not an unexpected eventuality in the NFL. Dallas lost Tony Romo; his backup, Weeden, won today. In Chicago, Cutler is down, and Clausen lost big against Seattle on the road. In New Orleans, Brees is injured, and Luke McCown filled in ably, although the Saints lost narrowly. We will now see how well Tomlin has planned for this contingency. Don’t expect miracles.

    But let’s be honest. Even before Ben R. suffered his injury, the offense looked pretty anemic today. The team stalled in the red zone and settled for field goals twice, the offensive line struggled mightily to protect Ben, and Bell did not play significantly better han D. Williams has the past two weeks. Ironically, the weakness of the team, the defense, played reasonably well against a young, re-building team; we might observe also that Nick Foles is no Joe Flacco, even on a good day.

    The bottom line is that the Steelers are a mediocre team that can play above average at times because of Ben R’s ability. Without him, this team has neither an effective running game nor passing game. And Tomlin has only four days to prepare Vick and Landry for the Ravens, who will be only too eager to prove that an offense built around the abilities of one athlete isn’t a viable offense.

  3. Austin

    September 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Dallas lost today. Vick will suck that is for sure but the contingency plans I lament are more preventative in narlture such as where the hell is our franchise left tackle that like everyone else has in the NFL? At least all elite qbs have them but nope, not ours. We put 7th rounders and undrafted free agents on our qbs blind side. I hate beachum and foster and have since they’ve been starting!

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