Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a sprained shoulder on Monday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 10, according to a report by ESPN.com. Roethlisberger exited the contest in the early part of the third quarter and was replaced by backup Byron Leftwich.
Leftwich threw for 73 yards.
Conflicting reports have been made concerning the nature of Roethlisberger’s injury, but he may be forced to miss time with either diagnosis:
According to sources, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger suffered a separated shoulder against the Chiefs--> yhoo.it/ShLXzj— Yahoo! Sports (@YahooSports) November 13, 2012
Steelers officials have not been told anything about Ben Roethlisberger having a separated shoulder. They have been told it is sprained.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 13, 2012
On Ben Roethlisberger, "sprained shoulder" is way of saying "can't tell you because team has shut down info" or "we don't know yet."— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) November 13, 2012
ESPN Stats & Information outlined how Pittsburgh will miss Roethlisberger’s presence on the field. If Leftwich doesn’t prove to be as effective in third-down situations as Roethlisberger tends to be, the Steelers offense is likely to suffer.
Without Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh will likely lean on the run a bit more—limiting the fantasy ceilings of Mike Wallace and the receivers. However, Heath Miller should remain a featured part of the offense.
He has at least four receptions in seven straight games.
Running back Isaac Redman finished with eight carries for 21 yards and two catches for 18 yards in Rashard Mendenhall’s absence, fumbling away his opportunity at more touches as the game went on. Jonathan Dwyer took 19 handoffs for 56 yards and caught one pass for four.
Dwyer’s stock is high following a 20-touch night despite only 60 total yards. If Mendenhall isn’t ready to go against the Ravens in Week 11, Dwyer is likely the Pittsburgh RB in whom fantasy owners should be most interested.
Adding Mendenhall to the equation would render all three backs risky starts. The workload will be split between them, but whether just two or all three guys get a fantasy-relevant number of carries is difficult to tell.
Wallace may be the only starting-caliber receiver for fantasy purposes without Roethlisberger under center, but even he is a risk—he has one 100-yard game to his credit this year.
In the six games that Wallace scored a touchdown, his average ESPN standard-scoring output was 12.3 points per game. In the three that he did not find the end zone, his average fantasy output was 4.0.
He’s a boom-or-bust fantasy wideout that may be more bust than boom without Big Ben.
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