The Pittsburgh Steelers got awful news when they learned that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger tore his meniscus. He underwent surgery on Monday to repair the damage to his knee, and the timetable for his return is not yet clear. He may miss four to six weeks, but he could heal quickly and be back in a couple of weeks. The only game that he has been ruled out for so far is the game this Sunday against New England. If the Steelers can take things in stride, they should have no reason to panic while they wait for Big Ben to come back.
The Next Few Weeks Are Favorable
Even if Roethlisberger was healthy, the odds would likely be against the Steelers being able to win this Sunday against New England. The Patriots look like a team on a mission since Brady came back from his Deflategate suspension, and so losing this Sunday doesn’t really hurt them. They also get a bye next week, which is perfect timing with this injury to their starting quarterback. The bye means that Roethlisberger has until November 6 to heal up, which is when Pittsburgh travels to play Baltimore.
If Big Ben can somehow come back in time for the Baltimore game, then it will be as if the injury didn’t really affect the team at all. On the other hand, the team has no reason to panic even if Roethlisberger misses additional time. It is not as if the team is not capable of winning without Big Ben.
Lots of Talent on Offense
Roethlisberger is not the only reason that the Steelers record is 4-2. They have plenty of other offensive weapons to lean on. Le’Veon Bell is one of the best running backs in the league, and the Steelers offensive line does an excellent job of opening big holes for him. As long as they can continue to do that, the Pittsburgh offense should be able to keep the team in games even if Roethlisberger remains sidelined for an extended period of time.
The other big weapon on offense is wide receiver Antonio Brown. He will now be catching passes from Landry Jones rather than Roethlisberger, but a change in quarterback won’t slow him down. Brown can gain separation from almost any corner unfortunate enough to draw the assignment of covering him.
While Jones may not be a stellar replacement at quarterback, he is a serviceable one. If he can manage the offense and avoid mistakes, he should be able to lead the Steelers to some victories. He has already shown great leadership by urging his teammates not to panic. If he can show the same poise on the field, the Steelers will handle Big Ben’s absence well.
After all, the Steelers went 2-2 in the four games that Roethlisberger missed with injuries last season. If they can stay around .500 again without Big Ben, they should be in fine shape to make a run at the playoffs when his knee heals up.