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Steelers Gameday

Tomlin: Ben Roethlisberger’s Subpar Play ‘Not Injury Related’



CINCINNATI — Ben Roethlisberger had one of the worst halves of football in his career on Monday night.

In the first 30 minutes of what became a 27-17 loss to the moribund Cincinnati Bengals, Roethlisberger threw the ball 16 times for 19 yards, was sacked once to lose 12 yards, fumbled once and was intercepted. 

The offense failed to score and spotted Cincinnati three short fields as the Bengals built a 17-0 lead.

Roethlisberger came back to life in the second half, leading Pittsburgh on a pair of touchdown drives before the comeback effort fell short in the end.

“I would say that I’m not consistent enough, which effects the offense because the ball is in my hand every play,” Roethlisberger summarized after the game.

But what he isn’t is hurt, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.

“It’s not injury related, it just wasn’t good enough, like all of us, me included,” Tomlin said. “We’ve got to be better.”

Roethlisberger was less direct when asked about his health, saying that nobody is fully healthy at this point in the season, but failing to discuss how he might be in less than optimal condition.

“I don’t think anybody that plays this game, at any position, whether it’s Week 1 or Week 16 feels 100%, so no, I would say that I don’t feel 100%, but nobody does right now.”

Steelers Gameday

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.

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.

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Mike Tomlin Doesn’t Regret Punt, Will Talk to Ben Roethlisberger About Future



Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin answers questions from the media following his team’s shocking defeat at the hands of the Browns in the playoffs. Tomlin explained why he decided to punt on a 4th and 1 in the 4th quarter while trailing by multiple scores. He also touched on the timeline for when he will talk to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about his future with the team.

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Steelers Gameday

JuJu Smith-Schuster Says He Doesn’t Regret ‘Browns Is the Browns’ Comment



PITTSBURGH — It was repeated so often in the five days between when JuJu Smith-Schuster said the phrase on Wednesday to Sunday night’s game at Heinz Field, that it nearly became the No. 1 talking point coming into the game.

“The Browns is the Browns.”

Before the game, after the game and probably during the game, many of the Browns made it clear that they had taken exception to Smith-Schuster’s characterization of the team.

Smith-Schuster said after the game that he had no regrets about what he said.

“You know, I don’t regret what I said,” Smith-Schuster said. “I said, ‘The Browns is the Browns.’ They came out and they played a hell of a game. You know, there’s been games where we feel we lose them and today wasn’t our night and hopefully the same Browns will show up next week against the same opponent and go out and do the same thing they did tonight and have a hell of a game.”

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