While not yet substantiated, Jason La Canfora is reporting this morning that it is widely believed in the front office that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will sit out the Saturday game against the St. Louis Rams with his high ankle sprain and could sit out Week 17 against the Cleveland Browns as well. La Canfora also adds that center Maurkice Pouncey, who missed Monday night\’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, is likely to sit another week as well, according to his sources.
Roethlisberger gave it go against the 49ers Monday night and the ankle certainly did affect his play as he was not able to step fully into his throws and his mobility was severely limited. Despite the handicapped ankle, Roethlisberger was 25 of 44 passing for 330 yards, but did throw 3 interceptions and fumbled once on a late sack.
Should Roethlisberger indeed not play Saturday against the Rams, veteran backup Charlie Batch would likely get the start. I caution that this report might be more speculative than anything this early on in the week, so take it for what it is and it certainly is not yet definitive or backed up by the local media as of yet. Mark Kaboly talked to Roethlisberger this morning and asked him about the report and Roethlisberger replied, “That\’s news to me.”
Second year wide receiver Antonio Brown said yesterday on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he expects Roethlisberger to be under Saturday, but that too could be premature on the part of Brown. Roethlisberger is not expected to do much on Thursday in practice, if anything, so we will have to watch the injury report that will be out later today. The Steelers are working inside today due to the weather.
As far as the status of Pouncey goes, Dale Lolley reports this morning that he will try out a brace today and said the decision whether he plays Saturday is his. Pouncey also added in regards to Roethlisberger, “If he played last week, he\’s playing this week.”