Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t believe that St. Louis Rams safety Mark Barron purposely tried to injure his left knee Sunday. However, he does believe that Barron shouldve been flagged just the same.
According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger told the media on Tuesday that Barron’s third quarter hit that resulted in a sprained left MCL “could have been” called as a penalty.
“I don’t think it was a dirty hit, I don’t think he was trying to take me out,” Roethlisberger said. “But according to the rules, it was a low hit, so maybe it should have been flagged. But I don’t think he did anything to intentionally hurt me.”
As we pointed out after Sunday’s game, according to the NFL rulebook, Barron’s hit to Roethlisberger’s left knee was not legal. Former NFL referee Mike Pereira even dedicated a short video to the hit on Sunday and he quoted the rulebook during it.
After Sunday’s game, head coach Mike Tomlin was asked if he had a problem with Barron’s hit and he said that he didn’t. During his Monday press conference, however, he did seem to indicate that he, too, thought the hit was illegal.
“I’m not going to be critical of the hit or of officiating,” said Tomlin. “You guys know we got a letter (from the league office) a week ago stressing not to do that. So I’m not.”
Regardless of whether or not the hit was illegal or dirty, it doesn’t change the fact that Roethlisberger will now likely miss up to six weeks with his injury.