Per ESPN’s Bob Holtzman, doctors have advised Big Ben to not return until his rib is completely healed, and “that could take up to 6 weeks.”
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) November 14, 2012
Yikes. That doesn’t sound good at all.
Obtaining an accurate timetable for an injury on a Tuesday can be an impossible task if the injury in question leaves the door even slightly ajar for the possibility of an appearance on a football field this week. And that’s where we seem to be with Ben Roethlisberger.
The Steelers quarterback suffered a shoulder injury during Pittsburgh’s overtime win over Kansas City last night. At his noon press conference today head coach Mike Tomlin confirm that Roethlisberger has an SC sprain, and he’s questionable for Pittsburgh’s key Week 11 divisional game against Baltimore. From my limited (see: none) medical experience, I’ve learned that injuries which can be summarized in two letters are often awful, but this could be the exception. I think.
For owners of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who might have had this Sunday circled if your starting QB is on his bye and is named Michael Vick, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan or Philip Rivers, don’t worry, because Big Ben will be on the field come game time against the Cincinnati Bengals.
After leaving practice Thursday with a minor ankle sprain, it’s expected the nine-year vet will be fine for Sunday.
Sources: Ben Roethlisberger ankle sprain minor, scheduled to practice today and definitely will play against Bengals on Sunday. #steelers
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) October 19, 2012
More importantly, owners of tight end Heath Miller along with wide receivers Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown — who have accounted for 928 yards this year collectively — can breathe easy now after briefly wondering if backup Byron Leftwich would actually see some playing time.
Leftwich has yet to see the field this season, something owners of Roethlisberger and his targets would like to see continue.
Stat corrections happen every week, but they’re an element of the fantasy fun/crushing anguish that primarily concerns those in IDP leagues. That’s because most often the corrections are applied to a defensive player who was miscredited with a tackle or sack, and the latter mistake is especially important because a sack is worth a significant chunk of points (as with any scoring it varies from league to league, but a sack is most commonly worth five points).
The NFL goes through game film and determines where corrections are needed, and then notifies the stat bureaus (Elias, Stats Inc, etc.) Wednesday night. Then they in turn notify all the major fantasy sites, and the corrections are inputted to your roster by Thursday morning. It’s a simple, standard trickle-down process, right?
Yeah, sure. Except when it’s not.
It’s a quarterback driven league, and three of the top signal-callers lead our late game first-half stars:
1. Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) – 22-31, 207 yds, 2 TD
Without their top running back in the fold, Pittsburgh continues to operate as a pass-first offence. Armed with a partially torn rotator cuff, Roethlisberger is somehow off to one of the best starts of his career. He had 520 yards to go with 4 TD’s and 1 INT through the first two games of the season and he’s looked great thus far against Oakland. The Steelers sport one of the best receiving corps in the league which ensures Roth will have plenty of options throughout the season. He’s also renewed his relationship with tight end Heath Miller, who caught both first half touchdowns. Miller now has 4 touchdowns in 2.5 games. Roth appears to be a lock to finish in the top-10 quarterbacks fantasy-wise this season, meaning if you don’t already own one of the elite QB’s you should target Big Ben.
Last year the Pittsburgh Steelers used the most combinations of lineman in the NFL, with a total of 25 different combinations that meant using nine different starters. In this year’s draft they hoped to stabilize their offensive line by using their first-round pick (24th overall) to select guard David DeCastro out of Stanford University.
Now it looks like they won’t be getting the stability they were looking for, at least not from DeCastro.
On Saturday during Pittsburgh’s preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, DeCastro was freight trained by Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, which caused his knee to fold awkwardly as he fell down.
As a result, DeCastro dislocated his kneecap and tore his MCL (luckily he didn’t damage his ACL), effectively ending his rookie season before it had even started.
This could be a problem for Ben Roethlisberger owners, as DeCastro was specifically drafted to beef up the protection for Pittsburgh’s franchise pivot.
The Steelers’ weak offensive line has allowed Roethlisberger to get hammered over the past few years (they gave up 42 sacks last year, ninth most in the NFL), causing Big Ben to play through both knee and ankle injuries. DeCastro was the centerpiece of a new, younger offensive line that was created to keep Roethlisberger healthy, and to give him more time to throw.
Still, this shouldn’t hurt Roethlisberger’s fantasy value too much, although he could drop a few spots if owners get worried about his nagging leg injuries and lack of protection.