Roethlisberger "thought (his) leg was broken," according to Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review.
Big Ben is a warrior, and even though the adrenaline and whatever they gave him in the locker room carried him through the pain vs. the Browns, the Steelers need their star quarterback at his best when it matters most.
The Steelers already have 10 wins. They get to see the Browns again and have the Rams at home after their game against the 49ers on Monday night. There is no doubt that they are going to the postseason.
Roethlisberger isn't going to be at 100 percent, even with his long break between Thursday night and Monday night next week.
Rather than throw him in there with his tremendously painful injury, why not rest him and have him ready to go when games actually matter?
The Steelers are guaranteed to walk away with 12 victories this season even if they get shellacked by the 49ers. There is no sense in risking Roethlisberger now and having him off his game in the playoffs.
The Steelers undoubtedly want to win the AFC North, and with the Ravens nipping at their heels, every single game is critical.
It would be tough to sit Roethlisberger, but it would be much tougher to stomach losing him for even longer because the Steelers thought the best course of action would be throwing him into the lineup with a bad wheel, a noticeable limp and a bad grimace.
This is one of those times where the Steelers need to protect Roethlisberger from himself.