Big Ben scoffs at suggestions he needed painkillers
SAN FRANCISCO — Ben Roethlisberger said he didn't take any painkilling injections before playing through a high-ankle sprain in a 20-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.
"We heard that (ESPN analyst) Steve Young and those guys say that before pre-game, 'Oh, he'll go shoot it up.' No we don't do that," Roethlisberger said. "They would never put me out there and endanger me or anybody on this team. There was no injection there was two Tylenols and two Advil."
That Roethlisberger took anything stronger for the pain caused by he injury to hs left ankle was a source of contention in a quiet Steelers' locker room. As he wrapped Roethlisberger's foot before the veteran quarterback talked to reporters, Steelers head trainer John Norwig said angrily, "He played without a needle."
Said Roethlisberger, "I just think it's silly that they assume that's what you've got to do. Obviously we could have done that and it would have helped a lot but that's kind of crazy to take that chance because you can further injure yourself."
Roethlisberger was considerably harder on himself after throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble. He put the loss that cost the Steelers a chance to taking control of the AFC North race on himself.
"It's very frustrating to feel like you've let down your team and your fans, your coaches. It's tough," Roethlisberger said after throwing for 330 yards in his first game since sustaining the first high-ankle sprain of his career. "I'm not going to make excuses. I played a bad football game and I turned the ball over and that one's on me. I just didn't play good football. They flat out beat us. I need to be a lot better. "I was probably the best 49er tonight."
Roethlisberger said coach Mike Tomlin wanted to take him out in the fourth quarter, after the 49ers had opened up a 17-point lead.
"I said, 'No, I'm not putting Charlie (Batch) in that situation and I'm not quitting on my guys," Roethlisberger said. "I started this thing and I'm going to finish it."
The Steelers have a short week, as they play Saturday against visiting St. Louis. Roethlisberger said he will play against the Rams if he has any say in the decision.
"I want to be out there," Roethlisberger said. "It's their call to say yes or no. I'll go out and play at five percent. I told coach (Tomlin) I could give it everything I've got (against the 49ers) and obviously it wasn't good enough."