Steelers: Which quarterback will play against Cleveland?
By Jack Tolman
Last week, against the Oakland Raiders, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went down with a midfoot sprain after a sack in the fourth quarter. For the second time this season, Steeler fans had to look on with horror as the future Hall of Fame gunslinger was carted off the field.
Landry Jones marched onto the field in relief of the superstar, and for the second time, led the Steelers to an unlikely victory late in the fourth quarter.
Despite the victory, all eyes were on Roethlisberger. With Le’Veon Bell already out for the season, an injury to Ben is the last thing the Steelers needed, and could easily throw away any chance the Steelers have at competing in the postseason.
Analysts league wide starting discussing the longevity of Big Ben’s absence, most talking 4-6 weeks. With a tough schedule down the stretch, and Pittsburgh battling through a heated wild card chase, the idea of not having Roethlisberger for multiple weeks was not ideal.
Amazingly, Ben Roethlisberger has had a surprisingly speedy recovery so far, and is already out of the boot. Apparently, Ben was also not very content with the idea of sitting out, and even said that he hopes to play this week.
Now, it’s hard to imagine a player being able to play, let alone allowed to play, a week after an injury, especially after sustaining an injury earlier in the season. But it seems Ben feels a lot better about his injury than I’m sure many people around him do.
So, will he play against Cleveland?
No one can blame Roethlisberger for being eager to play on this game. It’s a divisional matchup. The Steelers are barely holding onto a playoff spot. It’s the last home game in weeks. And with Ben’s track record against the Browns, it seems he really enjoys playing against them.
But the sad truth is, Ben will probably not play.
You’d think that if he was healthy, and feeling well enough to play, the Steelers would surely throw him into action, but the smart move would be to give him a rest.
The Browns are on a 5 game losing streak, and sit at 2-7, meaning that even a Landry Jones led team has a fair chance against them. Also, the Browns have the 31st ranked rush defense, meaning DeAngelo Williams, assuming he plays, could be leaned on hard, and might just wreak havoc.
By giving Ben a rest, the Steelers can slowly work him through the injury, and have him ready to go against Seattle following a Week 11 bye.
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There’s no point in risking another injury in a game against one of the worst teams in football. The Steelers should look at the Week 11 bye as a blessing, and start Landry Jones.
With Roethlisberger hopefully in full health by Week 12, he’ll be ready to lead the Steelers down the stretch, and to the playoffs like he’s done so many times before.