Being an NFL fan is a great thing. We are able to experience some of the most athletic human beings on the planet partake in what is for my money the most exciting and captivating sport there is. Its gladiator like nature is captivating and at the same time causes us to shudder. And it’s this win at all costs, spirit of the warrior mixed with William Wallace spirit that makes NFL players heroes and idols to young and old.
So, when it started making the rounds today that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was 50/50 to play this Sunday, I immediately took notice. This is a man that just three shorts weeks ago suffered a rib injury that threatened to sever his aorta if compromised, and he had to be sure that he was fully healed before putting himself in harms way.
What do we make of this news? Is he healed and ready to go, or are times so desperate and the situation so dire that he’s going to put his life at risk?
I think all Steelers fans understand that Roethlisberger is one tough dude, but I have to believe that in a situation like this, no one in the Steelers organization would even consider putting him in the game if he were in any real danger. This isn’t a case of the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The organization has to be honest with his health and weigh that against this team’s future.
Some have said that they’d rather have Roethlisberger at 70% healthy than backup quarterback Charlie Batch at 100%. I’m not so sure about that. After his injury you have to assume he’s going to be playing with his safety in the back of his mind, and if there’s anything that you cannot do in the NFL is play with the fear of getting hurt in your mind, regardless of how your body feels.
I think there is no way Roethlisberger starts. I really don’t care how badly this team needs a win. This team has enough talent to win this game even if he’s not on the field. The running game is strong and the corp of skills players is impressive. I understand a loss here puts the Steelers at 0-3 in the AFC North and 6-6. But if I recall last seasons Super Bowl champs were 6-6 at one point as well. Tread water, count on the rest of the teams to keep losing as well, and when Roethlisberger is healthy make that run.
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