The Pittsburgh Steelers almost had to find a way to win without star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger last week. In round two of the NFL playoffs, it doesn’t sound like that will be a chief concern. Per reports, Roethlisberger is “very likely” to suit up and face the Broncos in Denver, despite injuring his shoulder in the first round win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Sources tell me “very likely” Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder) plays Sunday at Denver, but “not looking good” for Antonio Brown (concussion).
— bob holtzman (@BobHoltzmanESPN) January 12, 2016
Roethlisberger hurt his right throwing shoulder after being driven into the ground by Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, and wound up exiting the game for multiple series. While on the sidelines, Roethlisberger watched the Steelers fall behind after storming out to a 15-0 lead. Roethlisberger re-entered the game on the game’s final drive and was able to assist the Steelers in getting the win, but clearly did not have the same velocity on his throws due to the injury.
Even if that remains the case going into this weekend’s matchup with the Broncos, it sounds like the Steelers will still roll out their savvy veteran, rather than roll the dice with backup quarterback Landry Jones.
Roethlisberger was able to torch a stout Broncos defense in a win during the regular season, but at less than 100% and on the road in the playoffs, replicating that feat may be difficult. Roethliberger and co. may also be without star wide receiver Antonio Brown, who is stuck in the league’s concussion protocol.