Ben Roethlisberger suggests Steelers’ contact practices explain injury woes


With the Pittsburgh Steelers dealing with injuries to key names, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has hinted at an explanation for the problems.

We’re talking about practice.

Big Ben caught up with Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and suggested practices play a role:

“We have a lot of injuries,” Roethlisberger said on his radio spot on 93.7 The Fan Tuesday. “I think a lot of our stuff stems from we’re one of the most physical football teams in training camp, in practice, you know. We do more hitting than most teams do and more [practices in] pads.”

He went out to point out the disparity between the Steelers and another team:

The Steelers practiced against the Detroit Lions at Saint Vincent College in the week before their first preseason game Aug. 12, and Roethlisberger said they were surprised at how different the two teams’ practice habits were.

“They hadn’t even gone a day in pads and we had already done like two weeks,” Roethlisberger said. “We’re talking to their players how physical our practices are.

It’s a funny angle, really. Those Lions happen to sit on a 2-3 record while the Steelers are 4-1, so maybe head coach Mike Tomlin understands taking the good with the bad to field a competitive roster.

Alas, right now the Steelers have to deal with injuries to guys like Ryan Shazier, Cam Heyward, Marcus Gilbert and Ramon Foster.

What comes of this might prove interesting. Big Ben didn’t say Tomlin’s name or anything of the sort, but the comment won’t go unnoticed by the organization. There’s sticking to what has worked in the past no matter the outcome and adjusting based on current happenings. For the Steelers, perhaps heeding a subtle warning by Big Ben might be the best route.

Either way, Pittsburgh sits atop the AFC North and, provided the roster gets healthy, looks like one of the best teams in the league.

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