Ben Roethlisberger: We thought 'Let's let our defense hold them' in Oakland
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger cited “old” x-ray equipment at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum for a delay in his return to this past Sunday’s loss to the Oakland Raiders and said that coach Mike Tomlin was waiting “to see how it played out” before inserting him into the game in the second half.
Speaking on his weekly KDKA-FM radio show Tuesday morning, Roethlisberger said that the simple task of finding the x-ray room in the 52-year-old stadium set back his return to action after suffering a rib injury late in the first half of what ended up a 24-21 loss to a Raiders team that came in with a 2-10 record.
Roethlisberger said that team physician Dr. James Bradley could not diagnose Roethlisberger’s injury without a clearer x-ray photo, and that the decision was made between Bradley, Roethlisberger and general manager Kevin Colbert to “see how this plays out” in regards to Roethlisberger’s return to the game.
“Let’s let our defense hold them, and let’s let Josh get this thing done,” Roethlisberger said, quoting what Colbert said.
Roethlisberger said without a diagnosis there was concern the injury could be aggravated further – or that Roethlisberger could not perform his duties well.
”If I take the field, am I going to make my team worse?” Roethlisberger said. “You want to play unless you think you will make the team worse.”
Backup Josh Dobbs played four series in the second half, and was largely ineffective in leading the Steelers to no points. Roethlisberger was back on the sidelines after two of those series – he said it took that long just to get back in full uniform – but did not play until the Raiders took a 17-14 lead.
Roethlisberger said he and coach Mike Tomlin were in communication throughout the sequence and that Tomlin told Roethlisberger he was coming back into the game for the possession that he did – regardless of whether Oakland had scored.
“He asked how I was doing and I said ‘Alright,’ and he said let’s see how this plays out,’” Roethlisberger said.
Roethlisberger led the Steelers on a go-ahead touchdown drive. But Oakland scored again and the Steelers got the ball back with only seconds remaining. Although a perfectly-executed hook-and-ladder pass got them into field-goal range, Chris Boswell slipped in his attempt to tie the game and the Steelers lost their third consecutive game.
The Steelers host the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.