Update 5:04 pm

Yikes. That doesn’t sound good at all.

At a crucial juncture in the Steelers season, the black and gold will be without starting QB Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday night according to Jay Glazer.

Trailing the Ravens by one game in the AFC North, Byron Leftwich will be tasked with stealing a victory.
The former Jaguar has faced the Ravens twice in his career, with his last start coming almost seven years ago to the day. He threw for 211 yards and one TD in a 30-3 win. It’s fun to look back, but those numbers mean nothing when it comes to this week’s clash of the titans at Heinz Field.

More importantly the Steelers had a hell of a time running the ball against the Chiefs defense when Roethlisberger left the game. The Pittsburgh Tribune’s Dejan Kovacevic believes –and rightly so– Mike Tomlin will need to rely on the run to have any chance against the Ravens:

Neither Jonathan Dwyer nor Isaac Redman had much room Monday, but the Steelers acknowledged afterward that the Chiefs’ underappreciated quickness and size on defense had much to do with that.The Steelers do have a good running game. They’ve shown it. The Ray-less Ravens rank 26th in rushing defense, giving up 132 yards per game.

Fantasy owners may be desperate in Ben’s absence, but Leftwich should not be inserted into starting lineups unless you want to ruin the competitive balance of your league. For those out of playoff contention it’s a thought. Don’t be a jerk.

Update: More bad news.


And now the links part of the links post…

  • Mike Vick’s concussion is truly significant according to Mike Florio’s source. [PFT]
  • Darren McFadden is iffy for Sunday’s game against New Orleans. [Jason Cole]
  • Rashard Mendenhall remains questionable. [Ed Bouchette]
  • A defensive starter calls Tim Tebow ‘terrible’ and doesn’t believe he has improved as a QB. [NY Daily News]
  • Phill Simms trolls his former team, calling Eli Manning a champion but not elite. [NFL.com]