On Tuesday morning, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that Ben Roethlisberger would be given the night off against the Green Bay Packers. By Tuesday afternoon, it would appear that an injury suffered towards the end of practice would have prevent him from playing anyway, regardless of the team’s plans.
Reportedly knocked to the turf during the seven shots drill, Roethlisberger was seen clutching his head as he lay of the turf before being attended to by medical staff. At the end of the practice session, Mike Tomlin would confirm the expected news - the Steelers’ star quarterback was being evaluated for a concussion.
Coach Tomlin on #Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger: “Ben Roethlisberger sustained a hit today in practice. He is being evaluated by team doctors as part of the concussion protocol.”— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) August 14, 2018
Fews observers watching practice seem to have had a good view of the hit that injured Roethlisberger, but it appears that Marcus Gilbert was involved in the collision. Although Mason Rudolph saw some of the incident, he was not willing to name names when speaking to the media after practice. An interview aired on the NFL Network on Tuesday evening.
“He (Roethlisberger) got knocked pretty good today, obviously, I wish him the best. I think he is fine. I think they might have checked him out for concussion, maybe protocol, but I think, hopefully, he will be okay.”
Asked if Roethlisberger has run into one of his own players, Rudolph responded.
“I think someone kinda got bullrushed and kinda of a bit of a domino effect there, but I’m not sure who it was. I not going to name any names and get death warrants out.”
Marcus Gilbert said he was blocking Keion Adams while Roethlisberger was rolling out. Said Ben ran into him and that is what sent him to ground— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 14, 2018
Marcus Gilbert said it was scary situation when Ben Roethlisberger went down. “That’s my guy.”— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 14, 2018
Marcus Gilbert on Roethlisberger: “It happened so fast. I saw his head whip back.”— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 14, 2018
Ben Roethlisberger told teammate Maurkice Pouncey that “he was good, he was fine.” Marcus Gilbert was blocking and saw Roethlisberger’s head “whip back.”— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 14, 2018
Given that the drill was meant to be an non contact exercise while Roethlisberger was without a helmet, the blow to the head was something of a freak occurrence. According to Pro Football Talk, Roethlisberger has suffered at least three reported concussion in his professional career, the last one coming in 2015 when he self-reported concussion like symptoms during a game against the Seattle Seahawks.
As more information becomes available about the results of Roethlisberger’s medical evaluation, we will be sure to update this post.