Ben Roethlisberger Injury: Updates on Steelers Star's Shoulder and Return

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger lies on the turf after going down on a play in the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
John Froschauer/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left the AFC Wild Card Game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 9 with a right-shoulder injury after being sacked by linebacker Vontaze Burfict. 

He would return to the game late in the fourth quarter to help lead his team to an 18-16 victory and won't miss any further game time.

Continue for updates.

Roethlisberger Active for Divisional Round

Sunday, Jan. 17

Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest announced Roethlisberger was available for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.

Latest on Roethlisberger's Practice Status

Saturday, Jan. 16

Roethlisberger was a full participant in practice on Friday after being limited the previous two days, per Jesse Palmer of NFL Network.

On Jan. 10, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Roethlisberger isn't expected to throw until Thursday. La Canfora added Roethlisberger will spend "most" of the week in treatment.

Roethlisberger Comments on Injury

Wednesday, Jan. 13

Roethlisberger told reporters he doesn't know when he will throw this week, adding he will undergo "mental reps" and will take it "hour by hour." However, Roethlisberger said, "If you can't throw the ball 25 to 30 yards down the field I think you're hurting the team."

Roethlisberger added he did not take a painkilling shot when he suffered the injury but could do so this week to manage the pain.

"Always expect to play," Roethlisberger said in a later media session. "Whether my body reacts the same way, I don't know. But I always expect to play."

However, Roethlisberger said he's not "going to go out there if I'm not able to help the team."

On Tuesday, during an appearance on The Cook and Poni Show on 93.7 The Fan (h/t SiriusXM NFL Radio), Roethlisberger said he has torn ligaments in his shoulder in addition to an AC joint sprain.

Roethlisberger elaborated on the injury, per CBS Pittsburgh:

It didn’t hurt when I reached back to throw. But it was pushing forward to throw and then the end of the throw. So I definitely felt like I was shortening up my motion up a little bit, which is why we threw some screens, and couldn’t really get the ball down the field… I think it just more affected how I could throw it.

I’ll go in tomorrow with the intent to see what I can do. I honestly don’t know. I haven’t tried to throw a football since the game, and maybe that’s not even the right thing to do right away. I’ll see the doctors and trainers tomorrow, we’ll evaluate kind of how I feel. If anything, maybe I can practice and hand off and still get some men

Per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Jan. 10, Roethlisberger said he underwent an MRI and is considered day-to-day, adding his shoulder is "sore."

Tomlin Comments on Roethlisberger's Playing Status

Tuesday, Jan. 12

Head coach Mike Tomlin said, per Bouchette, that Roethlisberger "has a chance," noting the team will manage him day-to-day and that he'll probably be a limited participant at practice Wednesday.

Latest on Severity of Roethlisberger Injury

Sunday, Jan. 10

NFL Network's Albert Breer and Ian Rapoport reported the "initial belief" is that Roethlisberger "has a sprained AC joint."

Jeremy Fowler of reported early Sunday morning that people initially thought Roethlisberger's injury was similar to Tony Romo's "AC issue." However, while it's not minor, it's not believed to be as bad.

Roethlisberger Vital to Steelers' Super Bowl Hopes

Roethlisberger is one of the league's best quarterbacks when healthy, and he's thrown for at least 3,000 yards in each of the last 10 seasons, including a career-high 4,952 in 2014. His strong arm and ability to keep plays alive with his physicality in the pocket allow receivers such as Antonio Brown to get open downfield. He finished the regular season with 3,938 passing yards and 21 touchdowns.

The silver lining for the Steelers with Roethlisberger’s injuries during the season is the experience Landry Jones accumulated on the way to 513 passing yards and three touchdowns. Jones appeared in seven games this season and turned heads in Week 6, when he stunned the Arizona Cardinals with a second-half comeback after he took over for Michael Vick.

However, the backup went just 2-of-5 for 11 yards and an interception in Roethlisberger's absence Saturday.

Roethlisberger's return is encouraging for the Steelers, but it's unclear how healthy he will be for next week's game against the Broncos. If he's forced to miss additional game time, Jones will take over at quarterback with Vick inactive.


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