Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is known for being a warrior as he played through many injuries throughout his career. It is also known that he played through injury in Super Bowl XLV against the Green Bay Packers, but until today we never knew the cause of the injury.
On his Footbahlin’ podcast, Roethlisberger told the story of how he hurt his foot before the Super Bowl. Roethlisberger set the scene saying that his family and agents rented a house in Dallas, and during his time there they played shuffleboard. He then explained how shuffleboard ended up causing his foot injury.
“We were playing shuffleboard and we would throw the shuffleboard down and we would run down and slide across the wood floor to watch the thing come down, being silly,” Roethlisberger recalled. “As I slid across the floor a piece of wood shank about this long broke off into the bottom of my foot. And it was in there so deep that I had to go see the trainers; the doctors they had to get it out in little shards. It wasn’t like one piece and it came out, there were little pieces in there of wood and it was awful. It was one of the most painful things I’ve ever had to deal with. We soaked my foot, we did everything, I wore a bigger-sized shoe. I remember Doc couldn’t shoot it up because if your foot goes numb you’re done. I remember going through warmups and almost looking at Mike like ‘I don’t know that I could play.’”
Despite his injury Roethlisberger still put together a decent performance, throwing for 263 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Unfortunately one of Roethlisberger’s interceptions was a pick-six by Nick Collins early in the game.
You would be hard pressed to find anyone who blames Roethlsibeger for the loss, and for good reason. After a shaky start, which could be attributed to a chunk of wood being in his foot, he played pretty well.
Despite being down 21-3 with less than two minutes to go in the first half, Roethlisberger brought the Steelers to within four points Packers and were driving before a Rashard Mendenhall fumble gave the ball and momentum back to the Packers. Green Bay marched down the field and scored a touchdown. The game ended 31-25, with a last-chance drive with under two minutes to go failing.
Unfortunately the Steelers were not able to pull out the win and hoist their seventh Lombardi Trophy. However, it is pretty cool that we finally got to hear the story of how Roethlisberger got hurt before the game, even if it evokes some bad memories.