In the world of football, there is no greater detriment to a good team than injuries. Over the last couple of seasons, the Pittsburgh Steelers have experienced injuries to star players that have hindered their successes.
For the last couple of years, the Pittsburgh Steelers have entered the season with high hopes, and Super Bowl aspirations. Each year, those hopes and dreams have been tarnished by a series of unfortunate injuries, especially last year.
Last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers were a team that no one expected to win the Super Bowl, but still no one wanted to play them. They had an offense capable of torching any defense in the league, proven in Week 15 when they scored 34 points against the best defense in football, and eventual Super Bowl champions, Denver Broncos.
Instead, the Steelers witnessed three stars suffer injuries that limited or ended their seasons at important points. Running Back Le’Veon Bell suffered a torn ACL against the Bengals mid way through the season, and while DeAngelo Williams, his replacement, filled in admirably, Bell’s absence was still a major setback.
Against the Bengals again in the Wild Card game, both Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown suffered injuries. While Roethlisberger’s injury did not remove him from play the following week, and it didn’t seem to limit him very much, one has to imagine that a few torn ligaments can affect someone’s play.
Brown’s injury took him out of the Divisional matchup against the Broncos. Just a few weeks removed from torching one of the best cornerbacks in the league, Chris Harris Jr., for two touchdowns, not having Brown could have very well been the difference between a win and a loss. The Broncos went on to win the Super Bowl, and Steelers fans were left at home thinking of what could’ve been.
With a new season abound, the hopes return for all fans of the black and gold. Many have Pittsburgh pinned as the Super Bowl favorites, and without Martavis Bryant in the lineup, health is as important as ever. The Steelers cannot afford to see their star players suffer injuries.
Ben Roethlisberger is the most important piece to the Steelers potent offense. He is the field general, and without a reliable backup, the ship goes down if Ben does. The connection between him and Antonio Brown is the most lethal in the NFL, and if they both remain upright, they could have a record breaking season.
Le’Veon Bell must stay healthy. While he has a reliable backup in Williams, Bell is the most complete back in the league when he is on the field. Combining his skills as a running back with his abilities as a receiver, and he becomes one of the most dangerous weapons in pro football. He has shown on multiple occasions that he can turn nothing into something magical.
Maurkice Pouncey, who has had injury concerns for a few years, is another key component of the offense that tends to not have much attention driven toward him; the typical life of an NFL Offensive Lineman. Pouncey is a pro bowl caliber Center who is the leader of one of the better offensive line units in the league.
For the last couple of years, injuries have consistently driven down this team and squandered multiple Super Bowl opportunities. While it’s impossible to predict injuries, and it’s almost foolish to write about them, Steelers fans across the country can pray and hope that the Steelers have as injury free of a season as possible in the sport of football en route to a 7th Lomardi Trophy.
It might be wise to bubble wrap our stars when we play the Bengals. It’s a good thing Burfict is suspended for the first meeting of the year, for a cheap shot on a Steeler player no less.
Have a happy 4th of July Weekend, Steeler Nation.