Woodley misses Foster and takes out Polamalu during Foster's game winning TD run.

Dire Straights: Ben Roethlisberger's Foot Injury Could Be Blessing in Disguise

Ben Roethlisberger is helped up after a low hit in yesterday's loss to Texans. Courtesy mysantonio.com

I’m not going to say the season is lost.  I think that is far from what transpired as the Steelers sent more players to the training room during and after the Steelers 17-10 loss to the Texans.  But it is going to get a bit worse before it gets better.  We should all just swallow that pill right now.  But take heart Steelers Nation, our franchise quarterback may not have to go through those growing pains.

The Texans dominated most of the game, and the Steelers should have lost by more – two Texans’ touchdowns were called back on penalties.  Both of those were generated by defense and special teams too.  The Texans had amazing ball control on their offense.  The opening drive reminded me of what the Steelers used to do on a regular basis.  The Texans were the Steelers and the Steelers were shades of an old Texans team.

The Steelers’ offensive line gave up five more sacks in yesterday’s loss, and they took their toll on Big Ben.  As the Steelers were pinned in their own endzone late in the 4th quarter, a defender went low on Ben, causing him to roll back on his foot and knee.  A flag was thrown on the play, though when looking at the replay the guy was blocked/pushed/thrown down into his legs.  I’m not sure there was much of a choice.  Ben was visibly limping the rest of the way, but sources say that is not likely when the foot injury occurred.  The injury is said to have occurred during the four and out after Antonio Brown had a nice kick return that set the Steelers up for a chance to tie the game.

Either way, Ben Roethlisberger’s availability for next Sunday is now in question.  Ben left the stadium in a boot.  The obvious tests will be done.  Even with a broken foot, there is a good chance for the Steelers to have #7 taking the snaps come time to play the Titans.  He’s played in a boot before.  With the other obvious problems going on with the team, I wonder if it is even worth them putting their already banged up star quarterback under much more suffering.

Let’s face it (I already have since week 1) the offensive line is nothing short of terrible.  They can’t even allow a three step drop to execute properly.  And if Ben can’t get rid of the ball to a receiver by then, only two things can happen – 1) Ben scrambles to get the ball down field somehow or 2) a sack because Ben has lost his way in knowing when to just throw the ball away.  The line has given up 14 sacks in four games.  That puts them on pace to give up 56 sacks by seasons end.  How long can Big Ben or anyone for that matter last under those conditions?

The Steelers would be better off putting someone like Charlie Batch in a QB while they wait for Roethlisberger to fully heal.  Aside from that time allowing him to heal, it would also allow someone else to take the licks from a defense while the coaching staff and front office figure out what to do about fixing the dam that is just about broken.  They wanted to get rid of Batch prior to Leftwich’s injury – now’s their chance to end his career by allowing him to play with such a shotty offensive line.

I swear the entirety of Steelers Nation should storm the South Side facilities with torches and pitchforks if Tomlin does not admit that they need to take some drastic measures.  The entire situation is on his shoulders now because he needs to figure something out.  There is an obvious lack of talent on that line and no form of consistency will help these guys get better with each other.  That was a pipe dream to begin with.  Someone needs to be acquired.  Hell two guys need to be acquired, and the Steelers should prepare themselves to shell out the money for it and take the hit on the roster somewhere else.  Trade for someone.  Do something instead of sitting behind that microphone giving us a rundown player by player of who is going to knock us in the mouth next .  I don’t care if you’ve decided running the ball is not the way you want to execute an offensive scheme, but you still need pass blockers to throw the ball down the field and keep your QB from getting killed.

The defense just can’t sustain the type of pressure on a team to have to pick up the slack of the offensive woes.  LaMarr Woodely proved NPC’s own Dom di Tolla right when he not only missed a crucial open field tackle on what would become Arian Foster’s game winning touchdown run, but also took his own teammate Polamalu out of the play altogether.  I still won’t concede that the defense is old and slow.  I don’t know what is going on with them – but they are struggling to stop any player on any down.  One takeaway in four games is an uncharacteristic and awful stat.  Teams are going to have good offensive days against the Steelers every week.

Too bad I can’t say the same thing for the Steelers until they do something about their offensive line.  But until then, they should at least recognize that they will be lucky to hit 10-6 or 9-7 this season and should save their franchise quarterback.  There’s still a big picture to be looked at here and #7 not being a part of it would be a tough blow for this franchise.  Although, maybe the defense is old and slow, and the coaching staff is trying to scramble together one last playoff run before things really go down the drain.

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