Found November 30, 2012 on
SteelBlitz Steelers Blog:
Most Steelers fans have been watching the news out of Pittsburgh all week in hopes that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can return to the line-up after missing the last two games, but it may be better for Ben and the team if he sits. It’s not only Rothelisberger either; there are mutliple players that should just sit this one out and come back for the last four games.
Antonio Brown says he will play despite being in a lot of pain with a high ankle sprain. Brown will play hurt Sunday against the Ravens and we will see just how much he can take based on how long he stays in the game.
Troy Polamalu is also supposed to be back in the line-up at least for a a limited number of snaps. Polamalu has only participated in two games this season and has not set foot on the field since week 6.
Willie Colon missed last week with a knee injury, but is expected to return this week against the Ravens and Kelvin Beachem may get the start at right tackle for a now injured Mike Adams. Ramon Foster could also slide to right tackle from his spot at right guard if David DeCastro is able to play on Sunday.
Jerrico Cotchery has been limited this week and likely won’t play after suffering a rib injury two weeks ago against the Ravens. LaMarr Woodley suffered an ankle injury last week against the Cleveland Browns and is also expected to be sidelined against the Ravens this week.
Now that’s where my question comes in. I understand that football players want to be on the field no matter what. Even in cases like Antonio Brown many players are willing to play through injury, but it could cause a lot of problems moving forward if the Steelers rush guys back for a now less meaningful game against the Ravens.
Had the Steelers beat the Browns last week and the Ravens had lost to the Chargers in overtime the story would be different, but the Ravens now hold a three game lead in the division. The Ravens also hold the division tie-breaker, conference tie-breaker and currently hold the head-to-head tie breaker. The only way the Steelers can win the division is to win out and have the Ravens lose 4 games.
The Ravens remaning schedule is not easy, but that scenario is not very likely. In fact, if the Ravens defeat the Steelers on Sunday they will clinch the division for the second straight season.
Now if Roethlisberger is 100% ready to go and fully healthy that is one thing because all of the sudden this game becomes winnable, but by the sounds of it that isn’t and won’t be the case. Roethlisberger, if he plays, will be playing with a lot of pain and a weaker than normal arm due to his shoulder and rib injuries holding him back.
With Kelvin Beachem, a seventh round pick, slated to potentially start his first game against a Ravens team that targets Ben Roethlisberger the way they do why risk it? One big shot to the ribs, and we all know the Ravens won’t be scared to take it, and Roethlisberger may be done for the season.
That being said if Roethlisberger is ruled out than the chance of winning falls drastically. We all saw how inept the offense has been the past two weeks and it hasn’t shown any signs of improving and the Ravens are much better at home. Unless the Steelers defense can turn the tables and force eight turnovers a win likely isn’t in the cards for Sunday.
So why risk a late season run? With a healthy Roethlisberger, Brown, Polamalu, DeCastro, Woodley, Cotchery, etc… this team still has a shot at their seventh Lombardi trophy, but if one of those players, or more, come back to soon from injury and suffer a setback that costs them the rest of their season it could end any hopes of a playoff run for this season.
I think it would be smart for the coaching staff not to throw this game in any way, but to make sure that their players are fully healthy before returning them to the field. The Steelers finish the season with 4 very winnable games and a 10-6 record should secure them a playoff spot as at least the sixth seed. With a healthy Roethlisberger and Brown and the return of Troy Polamalu that is a team with a lot of potenital and experience.
However, rushing Polamalu or Roethlisberger back too soon and risking a more serious complication to their already sustained injuries could be just the final blow that puts the fork in this team and sends them to a playoff-less season and begins a disappointing offseason for Steeler Nation.
Don’t get me wrong I’d love to get a win over the Ravens, espcially after three straight losses to Baltimore, but not at the cost of the rest of the 2012 season.
The post Steelers Would be Smart to Rest Roethlisberger, and Others, Sunday appeared first on SteelBlitz.
BEST OF MAXIM
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