Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin issued a brief statement through Burt Lauten, the Steelers’ director of communication, explaining an unfortunate event that occurred with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during Tuesday’s practice.
“Ben Roethlisberger sustained a hit today in practice,” Tomlin said. “He is being evaluated by team doctors as part of the concussion protocol.”
There was significant buzz coming out of Pittsburgh that this was Roethlisberger’s “best training camp” ever. The Steelers are very much in a make/break season, knowing good and well this is the final year, in all likelihood, that they have Ben, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell altogether.
Big Ben told teammate Maurkice Pouncey “he was fine,” although Pouncey noted he saw Roethlisberger’s head whip back.
Roethlisberger went down during a 7 shots segment of practice, according to multiple reporters on the scene.
Offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert told reporters after practice that Roethlisberger went down after he rolled out and ran into him as Gilbert was blocking linebacker Keion Adams.
According to NFL.com, Roethlisberger was briefly on the ground before eventually getting up. He then spent time talking to a team trainer and general manager Kevin Colbert before leaving the field under his own power, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
The Steelers are scheduled to play the Green Bay Packers in preseason action Thursday night, and Tomlin told reporters before Tuesday’s practice that Roethlisberger would be among a group of starters not expected to suit up.
With the starting quarterback now being evaluated in the concussion protocol, Roethlisberger will have extra time to recover before the regular season, which kicks off in less than a month.
Notably, the Steelers have backup quarterbacks Landry Jones, Joshua Dobbs and rookie Mason Rudolph on the roster behind Roethlisberger.