On Tuesday, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said during his weekly interview on 93.7 The Fan that the elbow on his throwing arm that he injured late in the team’s regular season opener against the Cleveland Browns has probably since played a role in him sailing a few passes in the last several games. A day later, however, Roethlisberger entirely downplayed there being an issue with his elbow when asked about it during his weekly Wednesday media session in the team’s locker room.
“It’s fine. I don’t even need to talk about it,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s good.”
On Thursday, Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner was asked about Roethlisberger’s elbow potentially hurting the quarterback and if he’s seen it affect his throwing motion any since the first game of the season.
“Well, I don’t know that it’s completely healthy, but I don’t know that in any one given season everything or anyone’s going to be completely healthy all the time,” Fichtner said. “We’ve tried to do the right things to manage numbers of throws in-week. I know that after this weekend he’ll get an extended rest and it’ll be good for him, but as far as being able to make throws, he can make the throws. With being able to practice, he can practice.”
Roethlisberger, in case you haven’t been paying close attention, has sat out the team’s Wednesday practices so far this season and that was likely the plan well before the season started as he did the same thing last year through the first quarter or so of the season. However, after Week 5 of last season, Roethlisberger practiced on Wednesdays, or at least he wasn’t listed as not doing so on the team’s daily injury reports the remainder of the regular season.
After the Steelers Sunday game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the team will have their annual bye week and as Fichtner hinted on Thursday, that will result in Roethlisberger not throwing much at all until Week 8 preparations begin. In short, you can expect backup quarterbacks Joshua Dobbs and Mason Rudolph to do nearly all the throwing during the team’s practices next week.
“Well, I think in the past it’s been great work for our young guys,” Fichtner said when asked if Roethlisberger would throw any during the bye week. “It’s always been, you know, Landry Jones time and young Josh Dobbs time and Dennis Dixon time and that was always great time for them. And it’s really good to put it back into perspective how much they’ve got to continue to grow because they’re one snap away from having to lead this football team.”
Personally, I think it will be interesting to see if Roethlisberger begins practicing on Wednesdays again after the team has their bye week.