I guess we should have held our breath after all.
In a completely unexpected turn of events, Ben Roethlisberger looks like he’ll be seated on the bench this Sunday when the Pittsburgh Steelers face a pivotal match-up against the Baltimore Ravens.
Every article I read this week said Ben felt fine while passing each and every post-concussion test with “flying colors” (his words). He practiced normally as all indications were he was suffering no residual effects from the knee to the head he took last Sunday against those dirty scumbag Chiefs. Late yesterday, ESPN issued a report that Ben had been experiencing headaches the past couple days. Crack reporting by our local media as usual. Anyway, after meeting with head coach Mike Tomlin it was evidently decided to sit Ben out rather than risk a second concussion or even worse neurological damage.
The Dennis Dixon era is about to begin.
Dixon is a second year pro who has thrown one NFL pass. While at Oregon, he was seen as Heisman Trophy candidate and a probable first round NFL draft pick. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL mid-way through his senior season. He postponed surgery and played with the injury because he wanted to get his team to the Rose Bowl. It ended up costing him, though, as he was still recovering from the surgery when the draft came around and his poor workouts dropped him from the top two or three rounds all the way to the fifth. Dix is an amazing athlete who even played minor league baseball in the Atlanta Braves organization before turning his full attention to football.
As a Steeler, his highlights amount to exactly one play he made in a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills last year. Taking the snap, he saw nobody open so he took off running. 47 yards later he had a touchdown in a play that would’ve made Kordell Stewart proud. In fact, I confess to being excited about the idea we had Slash 2.0 on our hands. I make no apologies for being a huge Kordell fan. But much like the great Slash, Dixon came into camp this year showing a similar tendency to struggle with his accuracy. Dix has a good arm so it was very disappointing to see the guy who was supposed to challenge Charlie Batch for the backup QB spot looking confused, erratic, and displaying poor mechanics.
Hopefully, he’ll be able to pull it together for this Sunday night’s game. Although Ben hasn’t officially been ruled out (the doctors will test him today and tomorrow to determine if he should play), I’m going out on a limb and saying he’s not starting. Once a player shows concern or reluctance to play because of an injury, he’s already mentally checked out. For the sake of the Steelers playoff hopes, I hope the rest of the team hasn’t as well.
Topics: Baltimore Ravens, Ben Roethlisberger, Big Ben, Black And Gold, Black And Gold Blog, Charlie Batch, Dennis Dixon, Kordell Stewart, Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers Blog, Roethlisberger, Roethlisberger Concussion, Slash, Steeler Nation, Steelers, Steelers Blog, Steelers Nation, Stillers, Super Bowl Champions