The Steelers head into the divisional round missing two crucial ingredients to their Super Bowl souffle.
Antonio Brown and Deangelo Williams are both listed as inactive according to multiple reports.
“We have been without people before. That is just the nature of this thing,” Mike Tomlin, Steeler’s coach, said.
“You can never just plug someone in for Antonio Brown because Antonio Brown is pretty special,” Roethlisberger added.
This means that two of the Steeler’s key contributors will not be contributing come Sunday. Their absences will require Big Ben to step up in a way which he has based his career off doing.
This isn’t to say Ben doesn’t have weapons at his bomb-armed disposal. He has many and they go by the names of Heath Miller, Markus Wheaton, and Martavis Bryant. The three have accounted for about 2,000 yards in receiving offense this season, a significant chunk of a significant offense’s output.
Ben has the weapons but is he healthy? Healthy to Roethlisberger is mortally wounded to anyone else. This season alone Roethlisberger has had four separate injuries that have kept him out of exactly zero games. The torn ligaments and separated right shoulder he suffered last weekend are a mere afterthought to his probability of playing.
As USA Today reported, Roethlisberger has been sacked 439 times in his career – 136 more than Peyton Manning, who has played six more seasons than Roethlisberger. Ben has not missed more than four consecutive games in 12 seasons, which is crazy impressive. Emphasis on the crazy.
Certainly everyone expects Ben to play because that’s what he does, he plays through injuries. He is animalistic in his desire to accept punishment, abhorrent in the care of his physical body. Ben is to health as McDonald’s french fries are to mold. The two don’t mix.
We expect Roethlisberger to play but do the Steelers really have a chance without Antonio Brown and Deangelo Williams? What do you think? Comment below and join the conversation on twitter @I_AM_aMANn.