Details are trickling out about the situation surrounding Antonio Brown with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it does not sound good.
Brown missed practice on Wednesday, was listed on the injury report on Thursday and Friday due to his knee, and the Steelers continued to hint that his status for Sunday’s season finale against the Bengals was in question. Brown did not play in the game, and now we know why.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Brown did not attend the team’s meeting or walk-through on Saturday, so he was benched as punishment on Sunday. They also reported that he had a dispute with a teammate during the weekend.
CBS’ Jason La Canfora reports that Brown had an altercation with Ben Roethlisberger that was “fairly ugly” and Brown was in the wrong.
The altercation that led Antonio Brown's benching last week was with Ben Roethlisberger. Im told it was fairly ugly and the WR was totally in the wrong. He went AWOL essentially for the 3rd time this season dating back to training camp
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 31, 2018
NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala reported that Brown and Roethlisberger had “a little bit of a disagreement” on Wednesday, which started all this.
Why would all this information leak out? The Steelers seemingly would want to keep any hint of dysfunction or problems quiet, unless they were setting the stage to part ways with Brown. Between this and some of his problems off the field, not to mention his issues with the Steelers, the team may be ready to move on.
- Antonio Brown
Ben Roethlisberger created a massive buzz in Pittsburgh about two years ago when he openly pondered retirement and talked about concerns he has about his long-term health, but it would appear the Steelers quarterback does not want that to be a topic of conversation again this offseason.
During his weekly appearance on 93.7 The Fan on Monday, Roethlisberger was asked if he plans to play in 2019. While he stopped short of completely ruling out retirement, he gave a pretty strong indication that he isn’t going anywhere.
— Joe Kapp (@937Catfish) December 24, 2018
Roethlisberger will turn 37 this offseason, but he has continued to play at an extremely high level. While the Steelers are on the brink of missing the playoffs this season for the first time since 2013, Roethlisberger only needs 158 passing yards next week to eclipse the 5,000-yard mark for the first time in his career. His 33 touchdown passes are already his most ever, so you could argue that this has been his best statistical year.
The last time Roethlisberger gave off the impression he was thinking about retirement had a lot to do with criticizing himself when he was frustrated, but he probably knows better than to make that mistake again. It would be a surprise if he is not back under center for the Steelers in 2019.
Ben Roethlisberger was held out for much of the second half of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ loss to the Oakland Raiders last week, and the details surrounding the injury he sustained have been somewhat of a mystery. According to a new report, Roethlisberger suffered fractured ribs after taking a hit.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said Sunday that Roethlisberger is dealing with “cracked ribs” that were unable to be diagnosed with a faulty X-ray machine in Oakland.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 16, 2018
That might help explain why Roethlisberger was on the sidelines for Pittsburgh’s first four offensive possessions of the second half. The team may have not known what the exact injury was, and there are reports that Big Ben received a pain injection and they were waiting for it to take effect.
Other than wrapping the injury, there isn’t a whole lot that can be done for fractured ribs. Roethlisberger was almost certainly in pain, so the Steelers were probably trying to see if they could beat a bad team with backup quarterback Josh Dobbs playing the second half. It ended up backfiring, and Mike Tomlin’s explanation for why Big Ben was held out so long did not sit well with many fans in Pittsburgh.
Ben Roethlisberger suffered a rib injury in Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders and was eventually able to return, but there has been a great deal of confusion about why it took so long for Mike Tomlin to put him back in. The coach and quarterback tried to answer some of those questions on Tuesday.
Apparently, one of the reasons Roethlisberger stood on the sideline for so long seemingly ready to go was that the Steelers were waiting on results from outdated X-ray machines in Oakland.
Ben Roethlisberger said on 93.7 the Fan an inconclusive X-Ray in Oakland factored into decision to sideline him. GM Kevin Colbert involved in discussions about whether playing Roethlisberger would worsen inj. Roethlisberger told coach Mike Tomlin he was available if needed.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) December 11, 2018
Mike Tomlin confirms what Ben Roethlisberger said: X-ray in Oakland was unable to be read after a dealay
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) December 11, 2018
Mike Tomlin: Most prudent thing to do was to make Ben available only in an emergency situation in Oakland because they weren't sure what the injury was because X-ray didn't work
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) December 11, 2018
Tomlin said he continued to communicate with Roethlisberger about the “effectiveness of pain medication” he was given, which likely means the Steelers were waiting for a pain shot to kick in. The coach stressed that the team was trying to make the best decision possible with the information available at the time.
Mike Tomlin point blank asked why, when he said Sun he could’ve gotten Ben in earlier, he didn’t. Said, “We didn’t have a lot of information,” talks abt dialogue, conversations, etc and then: “I’ve tried to be as transparent as I can be, I’m not going to get into the minutiae.”
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) December 11, 2018
Roethlisberger appeared to suffer the injury in the first half but remained in the game until halftime. Backup quarterback Josh Dobbs came out to start the second half, and the Steelers went punt, turnover on downs, interception, and punt on his first four possessions. After the Raiders took a 17-14 lead, Roethlisberger finally returned to the game and led Pittsburgh on a touchdown drive to put them up 21-17. They eventually lost 24-21 after kicker Chris Boswell slipped and fell on what would have been a game-tying field goal attempt.
Tomlin gave a much different reason on Sunday for why Roethlisberger was held out so long, and that is why reporters were still asking about it on Tuesday. From the sound of it, the Steelers were simply unsure of the exact extent of Big Ben’s injury but decided to take his word for it and put him back in when they realized they were not going to be able to win with Dobbs.
Why did Mike Tomlin hold Ben Roethlisberger out of Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders for so long after his rib injury? That is a big question the Pittsburgh Steelers should be answering all week.
Roethlisberger did not come out to play after halftime with his Steelers up 14-10 at Oakland on Sunday. The Steelers said Roethlisberger had a rib injury and was questionable to return. Backup quarterback Josh Dobbs took over and went punt, turnover on downs, interception, and punt on his first four possessions, which spilled into the fourth quarter.
Then the Raiders got the ball at the 27 following a punt early in the fourth. Oakland went on a 14-play, 73-yard touchdown drive that took up nearly 8 minutes and gave the Raiders a 17-14 lead.
Finally after his team was down, Roethlisberger returned to the game with just over five minutes to go in the fourth. He promptly led the Steelers on a touchdown drive to take a 21-17 lead with just under three minutes to go. Pittsburgh ended up allowing a Raiders touchdown, and then kicker Chris Boswell slipped and fell on what would have been a game-tying attempt. Pittsburgh lost 24-21 to fall to 7-5-1, putting their playoff hopes in jeopardy.
After the game, Tomlin gave a head-scratching quote. He told the media that Roethlisberger “probably could have come in a series or so sooner” but did not because of the “rhythm and flow of the game.”
Ben Roethlisberger said he assumes he’ll be good to go for the Patriots game. He was ready to play as soon as Mike Tomlin gave him the go. Tomlin said Roethlisberger probably could have gone in a few series earlier but flow of the game prevented that.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) December 10, 2018
So this was #Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on QB Ben Roethlisberger missing the first 24:40 of the second half, then returning w/ 5:20 to go and his team down: “Probably could have come in a series or so sooner.” pic.twitter.com/5PrO0dwI9x
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) December 10, 2018
What the heck does that mean? Does that mean Tomlin was hoping Dobbs could lead the team to victory without having to push Roethlisberger back into action? Does that mean Roethlisberger did not feel ready to return earlier? Did Tomlin want to give Dobbs more chances to see what he could do?
The Steelers’ offense looked ineffective without Roethlisberger. He should have been put back in the game as soon as he was ready. This sounds somewhat like a baseball manager who leaves a reliever in longer than he should to try and steal outs rather than put their closer in for a long save.
The whole situation was badly mismanaged based on the information given to us by Tomlin. He and the team will have a lot of questions to answer, especially with their playoff looking shakier.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered an injury during Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders, and it appeared to come when he took a big hit in the first half.
Roethlisberger was hit hard on a sack by Raiders defensive tackle Clinton McDonald with 5:15 remaining in the second quarter. He was slow to get up, but he stayed in the game and led Steelers to a touchdown drive before the half. However, he was replaced by Joshua Dobbs to start the second half and the team announced he had a rib injury.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (rib) is questionable to return. Being evaluated in locker room, per team.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) December 9, 2018
It’s unclear if the hit from McDonald was the play that caused the injury, though his left shoulder and head area hit the turf pretty hard.
Roethlisberger has dealt with a number of minor injuries this season, but he typically plays through them. The Steelers were leading 14-10 at the time Dobbs took over.
UPDATE: Roethlisberger returned to the game after missing just one offensive series in the second half.
For the second year in a row, Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception in the end zone to lose a close game against a tough opponent.
Last year in December, Big Ben was picked off on a tipped ball in the end zone to lose 27-24 to the New England Patriots. This year, he was intercepted in the end zone on a Tim Tebow-type fake run play on third-and-goal in Denver.
— NFL (@NFL) November 26, 2018
The Pittsburgh Steelers were down 24-17 with just over a minute to go and Roethlisberger was intercepted in the end zone by Shelby Harris. Here were the Twitter reactions to the mind-boggling play.
What. The. Hell. Was. That.
— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) November 26, 2018
— M.G. (@MarcasG) November 26, 2018
OH MY GOD BEN
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) November 26, 2018
Where was Ben Roethlisberger throwing that pass?
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) November 26, 2018
Holy crap Ben. Wow.
— Evan Cohen (@EvCoRadio) November 26, 2018
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a worst INT from Big Ben? #Steelers
— JT The Brick (@JTTheBrick) November 26, 2018
Pittsburgh is now 7-3-1 while Denver is 5-6 on the season.