Much has been made of the injuries (and health risks) to the Pittsburgh Steelers recently. Between Rashard Mendenhall being placed on the IT, Ryan Clark sitting this one out (sickle-cell trait that poses health risks when combined with altitude), and Ben Roethlisberger playing on a bummed ankle, the Steelers appear a little more vulnerable now than when they were mid-way through the season.
Without a doubt, Roethlisberger is a threat against any team that he plays. He’s a big playmaker and there’s a reason why he’s a two-time Super Bowl champion.
He’s lead his team to a 12-4 record while passing for 4,077 yards and 21 touchdowns on the season while only throwing 14 picks.
He’s known for being able to keep plays alive by scrambling until he can easily find the open receiver down field. The question is, will the Broncos play Big Ben any differently now that he has an injured ankle?
“I think you’ve got to still go after him with the same aggressiveness,” defensive coordinator Dennis Allen said. “We’re going to have a plan for Ben Roethlisberger whether he’s got a hurt ankle or not a hurt ankle. I would venture to say that a guy like him who has played in this many big games is going to find a way to be ready to roll. I don’t think the injury will play any factor at all in how the game plays out.”
That’s quite the statement considering ESPN reports are saying that Roethlisberger’s ankle is giving him mobility issues in practice.
The Broncos have played an aggressive style of defense all season thanks to Allen. The great thing about the Broncos defense is they’ve been able to hold quarterbacks like Philip Rivers, Mark Sanchez, and Kyle Orton to 13, 13, and 7 points, respectively. Yes, there were the Matt Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady games, but the Broncos have at least shown that they can hold good QBs at times.
As far as the Broncos chances of holding Ben Roethlisberger and advancing to the next round of the playoffs?
“Everybody’s got a chance on any given Sunday,” Allen said.
Mark (or sack) his words.