Injured foot could sideline Roethlisberger
The Steelers are cautiously optimistic that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sustained a sprain and not a fracture in his left foot in Houston, though his status for Sunday's game is in question.
Roethlisberger suffered his latest injury in the Steelers' 17-10 loss to the Houston Texans. He finished the game after getting hurt on the next-to-last series but left Reliant Stadium wearing a walking boot.
The Steelers will evaluate Roethlisberger, who played the latter part of last season with a stress fracture in his right foot, throughout the week. If he is unable to go against the Tennessee Titans, veteran Charlie Batch would likely start.
Batch has played well in the past when filling in for Roethlisberger.
The Homestead native started two games last season, throwing for 327 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.
Roethlisberger said after the Steelers' loss to the Texans that he would do whatever it takes to play Sunday when the Titans visit Heinz Field for a 1 p.m. game — even if that means wearing something to protect his injured foot.
Dr. Lindsey Harrington, a Mount Lebanon-based physical therapist, said the severity of the mid-foot sprain will determine how much it hampers Roethlisberger.
"A grade I would take a couple of weeks (to fully recover), but for a pro athlete, it wouldn't impact playing time or the ability to get right back on the field," said Harrington, who works for David Physical Therapy. "If it's a grade III sprain, where all the ligaments are torn, it may take a month or more to completely heal. But it is possible to get an athlete back on the field within a week or so if treated with appropriate taping or bracing for added stability and prevention of further injury to the ankle."
Roethlisberger completed 16 of 30 passes for 206 yards against the Texans, and he was intercepted on the Steelers' final play of the game. He was sacked five times and under constant pressure from the Texans' front seven.
Roethlisberger has received spotty protection from an offensive line that has been hit hard with injuries.
The Steelers have started eight different players on their line, and Roethlisberger has been sacked 14 games and also lost four fumbles.
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