PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger is unsure of how the left pectoral muscle injury he suffered on Sunday will impact his preparation for this week’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but he said hell do everything in his power to be available to play.
Roethlisberger was injured at some point early in the Steelers’ Week 2 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, but he isn’t sure exactly when or how it happened. He was able to complete the game without any outward signs of injury, but said it hurts a lot more now that the adrenaline of playing has worn off.
“I can (laugh) OK,” he said. “Typically, (it hurts) when I reach for something outside of the framework of my body, or when I try to push up or get off the ground or something like that.”
He threw 40 times on Sunday — eight more than in the season opener at Buffalo — and completed 27 for 295 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
Roethlisberger said he hasn’t thrown since the game, so he’s unsure of how the injury will impact his throwing mechanics at this point. He does not typically work as a full participant in practice on Wednesdays, but he does throw individually sometimes.
He seemed somewhat optimistic about his ability to be ready for the Bengals.
“Today is only Wednesday,” Roethlisberger said. ‘We have a lot of time to get ready to go.”
While it’s unclear how Roethlisberger was injured, head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that he felt his quarterback was hit too frequently. Roethlisberger has been sacked twice in each of the Steelers’ first two games this season and was hit 10 times by the Raiders — five by end Maxx Crosby.
Roethlisberger said the onus is on the entire offense to play better to reduce that impact, himself included.
“We knew going in they had a good rush, that was high-motor guys that were going to get after it,” he said. “You have to prepare for that. But we all need to be better, to eliminate hits, to have a better run game, to have more big plays, to be more efficient.”
Compared to the Raiders, the Bengals do not have as fearsome of a front seven, but it is improved from years past, with Cincinnati adding tackle Larry Ogunjobi (Cleveland) and end Trey Hendrickson (New Orleans) in free agency this offseason.