Ben Roethlisberger to Miss 4-6 Weeks With Knee Injury
Steelers nation got quite the scare in week three, when star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went down in a heap after sustaining a low hit to his left knee. Big Ben crumpled to the ground and clutched his knee, and was eventually carted into the locker room of Pittsburgh’s week three win over the Rams.
The good news is the Steelers avoided what initially looked like a potential season-ending injury, as early reports suggest Roethlisberger only suffered a PCL sprain and a knee bone bruise in his left knee.
MRI on Ben Roethlisberger confirms an MCL sprain. No damage to ACL. Expected to make a 4-week recovery
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 28, 2015
Roethlisberger was ultimately extremely lucky to escape with a minor injury, although he is still expected to miss at least the next month. With the Steelers at 2-1 and with backup quarterback Michael Vick ready to step in, they’re unlikely to rush their starting quarterback back to the field.
While Roethlisberger isn’t lost for the season, a potential 4-6 week absence is still a big concern for anyone placing bets on the Steelers to win the AFC North – or even worse – win the Super Bowl.
Pittsburgh boasts one of the best offenses in the entire league, so it wasn’t too bold of anyone to place money down on either of those bets before the season began. With stud running back Le’Veon Bell returning this past week and deep threat receiver Martavis Bryant set to return from a suspension in week five, an already potent offense is really just rounding into form.
The absence of Big Ben could potentially stifle that progress, of course. For the long-term, the Steelers still aren’t terrible bets to win their division or even make a deep playoff run. Roethlisberger’s injury certainly hurts their odds a bit, while the Cincinnati Bengals look to be a handful at 3-0. That being said, Vick is a capable backup and the Baltimore Ravens (0-3) and Cleveland Browns (1-2) don’t appear to be serious threats going forward.
Anyone sticking with the Steelers for the division or a Super Bowl win can stand pat for now if they want, but new bets aren’t exactly encouraged. The short-term view is much more concering, of course, and how things play out over the next few weeks will naturally roll into Pittsburgh’s season-long outlook.
The Steelers have to turn around and face the Ravens on a short week, and they’ll be getting an underrated (and desperate) divisional foe on Thursday Night Football. And now they don’t have their starting quarterback to go to battle with.
Vick has long been a turnover machine and has really only gotten worse in that department over the past two years. While that could still be an issue for him heading into week four, some obvious keys are working to his advantage. For one, Vick is in a high octane system with loads of weapons. Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are without a doubt two of the best players the NFL has to offer, and a strong argument can be made that they’re even the best players in the league at their respective positions.
The other big thing is the Ravens have to be pretty deflated after dropping two close shootouts and going to 0-3 on the year. It’s hard to imagine Baltimore not getting up for such a huge game, both because of it’s history and because a slide to 0-4 would probably kill their playoff hopes. However, the Ravens have been terrible defensively the past two weeks, and even with Big Ben sidelined, it’s difficult to imagine them completely shutting down the Steelers.
While this week’s matchup could slightly still favor the Steelers, they’re going to be tough bets until we know what to expect from Vick. For now, it may be a good idea to refrain from any new bets on Pittsbugh – especially for week four.
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