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.
Alex Highsmith Needs MRI after Ankle Injury Suffered vs. Browns
PITTSBURGH — Steelers rookie linebacker Alex Highsmith suffered an ankle injury that will require an MRI in Sunday’s playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Highsmith left the game in the first half and was seen limping on the Pittsburgh sideline. He made an attempt to return to the game, but was unable to continue playing and did not see the field at all in the second half.
In-game, the Steelers announced that Highsmith was doubtful to return with an ankle injury. After the fact, head coach Mike Tomlin said that Highsmith suffered a high ankle sprain. Highsmith’s father posted on Twitter early on Monday morning that Highsmith will require an MRI on his injured ankle.
Not the way we wanted the season to end but I am thankful to have been a part of this amazing ride! The Highsmith Family is proud to wear the Black & Gold and we look forward to more success in the future! Please pray for Alex as he gets an MRI tomorrow on his ankle! #HereWeGo pic.twitter.com/JJA4PpZpvx
— Sam Highsmith (@SHighsmithClan) January 11, 2021
Given that Highsmith was able to walk and even run in short bursts after the injury, it does not seem likely that it will impact his offseason training plans.
The team’s third-round draft pick out of Charlotte, Highsmith was thrust into a starting role after starting outside linebacker Bud Dupree suffered an ACL injury that required surgery.
On the season, Highsmith played in 16 regular season game and made five starts. He finished with 48 tackles, five for a loss, six quarterback hits, one interception and one pass defended.
With Dupree set to become an unrestricted free agent and unlikely to return, Highsmith should be expected to retain his starting role in 2021.
Steelers OLB Alex Highsmith Leaves Game with Ankle Injury, Doubtful to Return
PITTSBURGH — Steelers outside linebacker Alex Highsmith has left the team’s Wild Card Round playoff game against the Cleveland Browns with an ankle injury and is doubtful to return, the team announced.
Highsmith suffered the injury in the first half and attempted to return to play, but was unable to continue.
He was replaced on the field by a combination of third-year backup Ola Adeniyi and Cassius Marsh, who was signed from the Indianapolis practice squad in December.
Highsmith had been replacing starter Bud Dupree, who was lost for the season to an ACL injury.
The rookie out of Charlotte was the Steelers’ third-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Steelers Injury Updates: JuJu Smith-Schuster Practiced Fully Friday, Chris Boswell Limited
The Pittsburgh Steelers are relatively healthy entering their opening round playoff matchup with the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, as only kicker Chris Boswell was listed on the team’s injury report as being less than a full participant in practice on Friday.
Boswell was limited on Friday as he continues to recover from the groin injury that has forced him to miss the last two games. He was also limited on Wednesday, but was a full participant during Thursday’s session.
Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) returned to the practice field Friday after sitting out on Thursday. He had practiced fully on Wednesday as well, but was newly added yesterday.
Defensive end Isaiah Buggs (illness) was also added to the injury report Thursday, but was a full participant on Friday.
Safety Terrell Edmunds (shoulder), cornerback Steven Nelson (knee), nose tackle Tyson Alualu (ankle) and linebacker Vince Williams (quad) were all full participants during Friday’s practice session as well, positioning the Steelers to be healthy heading into Sunday’s playoff game against the Browns.