Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a rib injury during the team’s Sunday road loss to the Oakland Raiders and while he missed a good portion of the second half, he was ultimately able to return to the contest for the final two offensive possessions. After the game, Roethlisberger seemed optimistic that he’ll be able play next Sunday at home against the New England Patriots.
“I would assume so. I can’t predict it, but I would assume so,” Roethlisberger said.
Despite returning from the Steelers locker room about halfway through the third quarter, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin decided not to put the starting quarterback back into the game until the Raiders scored a go-ahead touchdown with 5:20 left in the game. Roethlisberger was asked during his talk with the media after the game what took so long for Tomlin to reinsert him back into the contest.
“I was just waiting for coach to tell me when to go,” Roethlisberger said.
Tomlin admitted after the game that Roethisberger probably could have returned a few series earlier than he did.
“He probably could have come in a series or so sooner but we were in the rhythm and flow of the game. He was ready to go when he got back out there,” Tomlin said.
Roethisberger seemingly suffered his rib injury while taking a sack on a 3rd and 9 play with 5:15 left in the first half. He did return for the Steelers next offensive possession, however, and even threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to culminate a 9 play, 53-yard drive to close out the first 30 minutes of play.
After halftime was over, Roethlisberger stayed in the Steelers locker room and backup quarterback Joshua Dobbs took over, Roethlisberger finally exited the locker room with 8:45 left in the 3rd quarter when the Steelers offense had the ball near midfield. That was the Steelers second offensive possession of the second half and Dobbs would play the next two before giving way to Roethlisberger.
You can bet that there will be a lot of talk this week about Tomlin not putting Roethlisberger back into the game earlier than what he actually did. On the surface, it appears as though Tomlin had confidence in not only Dobbs to finish the contest, but his defense to do same. It seems like Tomlin made a poor decision on both accounts.