The regular season is now over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are taking their practices at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now upon us, there is plenty left to be done.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the playoffs as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to playoff success, in which they are, at least supposed to be, among the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
Question: Will Ben Roethlisberger experienced any limitations during the Chiefs game due to his foot injury?
Late in the Steelers’ blowout Wildcard Round victory over the Dolphins, with the offense facing a third and long, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger dropped back to pass with an 18-point lead in a game that had under five minutes left to play. He threw an interception on a poor throw as he was being brought down by Cameron Wake.
Wake landed on Roethlisberger’s foot, which reaggravated an old foot injury that he has dealt with a time or two in his career. He was in a precautionary walking boot for that night, but was out of it by the next morning, and he and the team have since been insisting that there is absolutely nothing to it.
Others are less sure, though his exclusion from yesterday’s practice session should not be taken as a sign of trouble. He is often given Wednesday’s practices off, and always when it is taken in the indoor facilities on turf, as was the case for this week. So that he was not practicing yesterday—even if the team listed him as not practicing with a foot injury—is a false positive.
He will likely fully practice today and tomorrow, and there will be no question that he will play. But whether or not there is a question about how he plays seems to depend upon who you ask, and, if we are being truthful, nobody who is being asked, or is voluntarily offering their opinion, really knows anything about the specifics in this case.
Yet it is a pretty big question for the Steelers, considering that they kind of need Roethlisberger to be healthy, as this is a pretty important time of the year. If he is hindered by a foot problem, that is certainly going to present its difficulties.
My best guess is that he might present a less mobile figure in the pocket, less inclined to roll out and instead check the ball down or throw it away than he is accustomed to. But, like everybody else, I’m merely speculating.