During the Jets game, Heath suffered some damage to his rib cartilage, but as we know finished the game and helped the Steelers add one to the win column. But today, Thursday, was the second day he sat out of practice. Yikes. Not good. With no indication of whether or not he will play Sunday against the Raiders, I think we have to consider for a moment the impact that is going to have. Let me rephrase that, the rather large and impactful impact that is going to have.
Heath only had three catches against the Jets, but two were key third down grabs, on long third downs, as the running game was at best, ineffective. His third completion was a touchdown. His second in two games after scoring the first of the Steelers season against Denver.
When Todd Haley took the job earlier this year, he talked about the importance of having Miller more involved in the offense, getting the ball more. That’s a good thing, Ben has that *connection* with Heath, that’s evident. Miller is not one of those fancy pants tight ends that seems to be en-vogue, he’s not flashy like the Gronk or putting up ridiculous numbers like Graham, but he is consistent and he is dependable.
So the question of him playing on Sunday is potentially a serious one, with key players out on the defense (Harrison and Troy are already ruled out) and an offense that is only averaging a pathetic 2.6 yards per carry or something crappy like that. (I make no mention of the effects of our offensive line. That is like beating a dead horse and I happen to like animals.)
As a result, Ben is unfortunately having to play a little, ok a lot, of superman on third down. Miller is one of his go to guys. He’s like a warm fuzzy blanket. I like Ben to be warm and fuzzy and comfortable. A comfortable Ben is a good Ben. A non-interception throwing Ben.
Miller, the tough guy he is, the team player he is, will likely suit up on Sunday and catch his 2-3 passes, listen to the barrage of HEATH echoing through the stadium, do his duty on blocking and call it a day. He’ll be looking ahead to the week four bye along with what seems like a growing bunch of guys on the sideline in sweats instead of pads. At least Ben is in one piece. Someone knock on some wood.
Oh and yes, I googled ” Healing Torn Rib Cartilage” and now wish I didnt.
Torn rib cartilage, also called costochondral separation, can be one of the most difficult injuries to heal, because it cannot simply be placed in a cast. Ribs must move in order for your lungs to properly function, which inhibits healing. Symptoms of a torn rib cartilage include pain when you breathe, cough or sneeze, laugh and even move.