Even though the league is reportedly attempting to do a better job at recognizing concussions league-wide, late in Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger recognized all on his own that he probably needed to go through the head injury protocol.
According to the Steelers, Roethlisberger entered the NFL’s concussion protocol after self-reporting his own symptoms on the sideline late in the fourth quarter of the Steelers loss.
With 7:18 left in the game, Roethlisberger was hit helmet-to-helmet by Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett after getting rid of a third down pass. After suffering the hit, the Steelers quarterback stayed down on the field for several seconds before finally being helped to his feet by two of his teammates.
Being as Bennett was flagged for unnecessary roughness on the failed third down pass attempt, the Steelers offense was able to stay on the field due to the penalty. Roethlisberger stayed out there with them and finished out the drive that ultimately culminated with a field goal.
Roethlisberger, however, did not return to the game after the Seahawks quickly scored on the ensuing possession following the kickoff as he was ushered off to the Steelers locker room.
All of this comes just one week after the St. Louis Rams were accused of mishandling concussion protocols with quarterback Case Keenum, who remained in last Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens for two plays after it was clear he probably suffered a concussion.
The Steelers did not allow Roethlisberger to talk to the media after the game due to him still being checked for a possible concussion. It’s also likely that the Steelers quarterback will be limited early on in practice next week, assuming he can clear himself by passing all of the concussion test.
As for Bennett, he can probably expect to be fined for his hit on Roethlisberger.