The Pittsburgh Steelers' matchup against the Baltimore Ravens might be more or less essential for the team's fast-fading playoff hopes, but Mike Bires of the Beaver County Times argues convincingly that the team shouldn't force Ben Roethlisberger back into action from his shoulder/rib injury.
It's not just that Roethlisberger, who by all accounts is a better quarterback when healthy than third-stringer Charlie Batch, might not be able to play at full strength. The quarterback is recovering from an injury that apparently threatened his aorta, suffered less than a month ago. The Steelers are apparently considering putting him into an NFL game against one of the league's most feared defenses behind an offensive line starting three players in positions they weren't playing last week. Bires argues that's a recipe for not just bad football, but also a serious injury.
We may never know if Roethlisberger’s dislocated rib was really life-threatening. But this much is for sure: Roethlisberger should not play again until his physicians are 100 percent sure it’s safe to put him put back out on the field in the face of an NFL pass rush.
Not to mention that Roethlisberger probably isn't the optimal QB in his current state: he experiences pain throwing deep balls, and needed to receive training after merely throwing passes in practice Thursday while his teammates practiced. Bires concludes that there's "no way" Roethlisberger will play, no matter how much he tries to convince Mike Tomlin he should.