PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger looks just fine, to see him standing in a hooded sweatshirt and ballcap outside the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice facility.
To see his hip, Roethlisberger said, is another story.
“If I showed you the picture, you might not be well to your stomach,” he said in his weekly meeting with the media on Wednesday. “It’s a little black and blue. We’ve all got to deal with injuries in the game of football.”
But Roethlisberger has no intentions of sitting this week out, and said he plans to take the field Sunday when the Steelers host the Denver Broncos.
“That’s the plan. Always the plan. Doing everything I can to get out there.”
Roethlisberger said he was injured taking a hit in the team’s Week 3 game at Green Bay. He never left the game and showed no obvious outward signs of an injury, but Roethlisberger said that the injury might have impacted his performance against the Packers.
“I’m not going to make excuses,” he said. “As a quarterback, there’s so much involved in your lower body. People probably think as a quarterback, or as a thrower, it’s how is your arm doing? Your arm is honestly a small part compared to the whole package. It’s your core. It’s your lower body. I’ve got to find ways to be better with my lower body.
“Going back and watching the game, a few times, a lot of the throws I missed were missed because my lower body wasn’t in sync. Over-striding, not stepping towards my target. Things that mechanically, I can fix and I need to fix. Obviously, when you’re dealing with pain, it’s harder to get through those things, but nothing I can’t get through.”
Roethlisberger completed 26 of 40 passes against Green Bay for 232 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the game’s waning moments. He also missed a couple of potential deep passes to JuJu Smith-Schuster, something Roethlisberger lamented after the game.
“I think there is some compensation that happens when you can’t drive into a throw,” he said. “Once again, I’m not going to make excuses. I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve played through lower body injuries before. That’s thing that I need to do better with.”
The hip ailment is the second injury of the season for Roethlisberger, who also had a left pectoral injury already in four weeks. With the 39-year-old embarking on a 17-game regular season for the first time, it brings legitimate questions about whether he’ll be able to get through the season intact.
When asked about that on Wednesday, Roethlisberger did not share any level of concern.
“We all deal with injuries,” he said. “It’s a violent game.”