Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s surgically repaired right elbow passed yet another test on Monday as he was able to perform solidly in his team’s 26-16 opening-night victory over the New York Giants.
There was certainly some rust that needed knocked off, three new passing targets to get better acquainted with and more, but from a physical standpoint, Roethlisberger passed with flying colors.
Two days after the game, Roethlisberger said on Wednesday that his body is still sore from the abuse administered by the Giants’ defense. But his arm is doing just fine.
“I was saying today I feel like I was just in a car accident,” he said. “Yesterday, I felt like I was in a train wreck. Hopefully, tomorrow it just feels like I fell off a bike or something. I’m definitely sore. The good news is my arm is the only thing that doesn’t hurt. That’s good.”
Roethlisberger said hasn’t had to change much about his arm-care routine, either. Monday night, he wore a compression sleeve over the elbow during play and then a larger, jacket sleeve over it at times on the sideline.
‘That’s a sleeve from a heavy jacket that the equipment guys made for me,” Roethlisberger said. “Rather than put the whole jacket on when it’s warm out, we just have that on the side to keep the elbow warm, kind of like a pitcher if you will. It got a little cool down there at times with the breeze. So, I was just doing what the doctor ordered and keeping my elbow warm.”
In between games, it’s mostly going to be the same routine Roethlisberger has utilized the last few seasons with an off day Wednesday before practicing Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
“We will just keep the same routine in terms of Wednesday rest day and then get back into it,” he said. “The biggest thing I’ve been told from the doctors is keep it warm, hence the sleeve on the sideline and the sleeve I wore during the game. That’s going to be the biggest thing from what I have been told is making sure it stays warm, throw some passes on the sidelines if there is a long series or something.”
Considering what Roethlisberger has been through over the last year — detailed in his ongoing docuseries “Bigger Than Ben” — that seems like small task to be able to keep the quarterback on the field and playing at a high level.
Steelers Injury Updates: David DeCastro to Practice; 3 Regulars Limited
Injured Steelers guard David DeCastro is expected to return to practice this week, head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday, while three other players could be limited during the week of work.
DeCastro suffered a knee injury during a training camp scrimmage and has not practiced with the team since. Tomlin said that whether DeCastro will be able to play on Sunday against the Houston Texans will depend on how his participation in practice this week goes.
The Steelers first replaced DeCastro with veteran Stefen Wisniewski, before Wisniewski was injured against the New York Giants and replaced by rookie Kevin Dotson.
Tomlin also said that defensive lineman Tyson Alualu (knee contusion), linebacker Bud Dupree (shoulder discomfort) and wide receiver Diontae Johnson (toe) all could be limited in the early part of practice this week, but should be expected to play on Sunday.
MetLife Stadium Turf Draws Ire after Two More Knee Injuries following Zach Banner’s in Week 1
The Steelers victory over the New York Giants to open the 2020 season last Monday night was a painful one, as starting right tackle Zach Banner suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter that ended his 2020 season.
A week and two more ACL injuries later, and the playing surface at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands has come under fire from some around the NFL.
San Francisco 49ers defensive starters Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas both suffered apparent ACL injuries while playing the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, making three season-ending knee injuries on the surface over two games.
The playing surface at the stadium, which opened in 2010, was replaced once in 2016 and then again with new FieldTurf this offseason. That new surface has drawn some criticism from those that have played on it.
“I think the turf was pretty thick,” 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead said. “Guys seemed to be getting stuck in the ground more regularly. A bunch of guys went down, wasn’t real fun to be a part of.”
“I know that’s as many knee injuries and ankle stuff and people getting caught on the turf that I’ve ever been a part of,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan added. “From what I saw, the other team did, too. I know our players talked about it the entire game, just how sticky the turf was. I think that was the first time people played on it. That was something our guys were concerned about right away and the result definitely made that a lot stronger. Unfortunately, it’s a place we have to go back next week.”
Banner has not spoken to the media since his injury. He said on Twitter that he underwent surgery on Friday.
“Any time you play on turf, you always feel a little different,” Steelers defensive lineman Tyson Alualu said on Monday, but he did not say that he felt the turf at MetLife Stadium was worse than any of the other turf surfaces the Steelers have played on. Alualu said he suffered a minor ankle injury during the game. Steelers running back James Conner also injured his ankle early in the game and did not return.
NBC Sports reported that the NFL plans to look into the turf situation at the stadium.
Steelers Injury Updates: DeCastro and Wisniewski Out for Sunday
Pittsburgh Steelers guards David DeCastro (knee) and Stefen Wisniewski (pectoral muscle) both did not practice Friday and are listed as out for Sunday’s home opener against the Denver Broncos.
DeCastro has been hobbled for several weeks since injuring his knee in training camp and missed last week’s game against the New York Giants, while Wisniewski started Monday night, but left in the fourth quarter. Wisniewski was placed on the reserve/injured list Friday afternoon.
With both sidelined, rookie guard Kevin Dotson looks slated to make his first career start on Sunday.
James Conner (ankle) was a full participant in practice again Friday after leaving the season opener in the second quarter. By getting a feel for his health and receiving treatment, Conner believes he is “definitely trending in the right direction.”
With injuries forcing him to miss six games in 2019, Conner expressed frustration when speaking with the media Friday.
“(The injury) was frustrating, I wanted to be out there. We won the game, that is the most important thing,” he said. “I am not naïve. I know stuff happens. I am trying to do everything I can to stay healthy. I am going to stay in my lane and leave it in God’s hands and everything is going to be all right.”
Wide receivers Diontae Johnson (toe) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (foot), left tackle Alejandro Villanueva (illness) and defensive end Stephon Tuitt (Achilles) were also all full participants in practice on Friday. All had missed practice Wednesday with minor ailments, but have now participated two-straight days and are ready for Sunday.