Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger will skip bye-week practices
Ben Roethlisberger’s tender elbow isn’t hindering his ability to play, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said, but he is on something of a “pitch count” on a weekly basis.
And that count will be zero for the upcoming bye week.
“I don’t know that it’s completely healthy,” Fichtner said of that Roethlisberger’s right elbow that was injured late in the Week 1 tie at Cleveland, “but I don’t know that in any given season anyone — or any arm — is going to be completely healthy all the time.
“We try to do the right things to manage numbers of throws in the week, and I know that after this weekend he will get an extended rest and it will be good for him. But as far as being able to make throws, he can make the throws, and as far as practice, he can practice.”
Roethlisberger has been held out of Wednesday practices the past three weeks, although that is not atypical. He also did not practice Wednesday or Thursday in the week that followed the Cleveland game, during which he was injured on a sack by the Browns’ Gernard Avery on the second-to-last Steelers snap in overtime.
Roethlisberger said Tuesday on his 93.7 FM radio show that his elbow altered his throwing mechanics and was forcing his throws to sail on him – although on Wednesday he told reporters his elbow was “fine” and “good.”
Roethlisberger sitting out bye-week practices – of which there are three – isn’t unusual, either.
“In the past (the bye week) has been great work for our young (quarterbacks),” said Fichtner, who previously was the team’s quarterbacks coach. “It’s always been Landry Jones’ time or young Josh Dobbs’ time or Dennis Dixon’ time.”
This season, it’ll be time for Dobbs as well as Mason Rudolph’s time. A rookie third-round pick, as the No. 3 quarterback Rudolph gets limited reps during the regular season.
“I can’t wait,” Rudolph said of the bye week and the extra reps, “it will be fun. I have never done it before, been through an NFL off week. But I am excited for whatever work I can get, and going to make the most if it.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.