As it turns out, being sacked more than anybody else in the history of the game doesn’t feel great on the body. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger recently earned that distinction, and wouldn’t you know it, “everything’s a little sore”, as he told reporters on Wednesday.
Not that that’s anything out of the ordinary. Play a football game and you’re probably going to feel something the next day, even if you’re a rookie. Maybe you recover faster, but you’re going to feel something. “It’s football. We’re all banged up. Ask [Chris] Bos[well]. He’s pretty sore and he’s never sore”, Roethlisberger joked. Boswell took a shot recovering a fumble on a kickoff on Monday night. He also got walloped the week before on a fake field goal.
Roethlisberger mysteriously showed up on the injury report last week with a shoulder injury, yet it had no effect on his status for the game, nor did it presumably have any impact on his actual performance. At least, beyond what was already there, as he said it wasn’t new.
“It happened like Oakland [Las Vegas] or Cincinnati or something”, he said about when the shoulder injury first occurred, even though last week was the first that we had heard about it, and the first it was on the injury report. “We just don’t tell you everything”, he said with a smirk.
Now, it should be noted that the Steelers have been fined in the past for withholding information on the injury report, even specifically concerning Roethlisberger, if I’m not mistaken. I can’t speak to the nuances of the regulations and whether or not we’re opening that door here. But I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking it, especially since he normally doesn’t practice on Wednesdays and is almost always listed as Not Injured Related.
At 39 years old, though, those blows on your body start to accumulate, and of course, the older you get, the less resilient you become. “Every one of the hits I get makes me feel that way on Monday when I wake up”, he said. “But you know what? At the end of the day, you get up because you love the game, you love your teammates, you love the fans, and you just want to keep doing it”.
I suppose that you would have to if you are willing to be sacked 534 times over the course of an 18-year career, across 241 career games played. His sack rate of 5.7% this season is the highest that it’s been since the 2013 season when it finally started dropping. It was just 2.1% in 2020, the lowest in the NFL, and the only time in his career he’s had the lowest rate in the league.