(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
On Sunday morning, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that Ben Roethlisberger's knee injury, an issue he dealt with in the week before the game against the Washington Football Team, has become a source of greater concern within the Steelers organization. Roethlisberger refuted the report on Wednesday when he spoke with the media in a Zoom interview.
"Yeah, I mean, I’m 38 years old. I’ve played football for 17 years. I’ve had multiple surgeries. I saw that report," Roethlisberger said. "I don’t know where it came from. I think it was the one that said the Steelers were concerned. I would love to know who that was or who told him because the week before against Washington I was having issues with my knee, landed on it, had something going on, but other than just an old knee and arthritis, my knee actually feels really good this week, especially after playing on an artificial surface. Typically, that is another issue that makes it kind of ache.
"After last week, it feels pretty good. That report to me is just one of those phony kinds of things that people sometimes want to make up. I actually feel pretty good."
Roethlisberger also said, "If I can’t do it, I need to hang it up," after the 26-15 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night. Roethlisberger's statement came out of frustration after he completed 21 of 37 passes (56.8%) for 187 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions (one that went for a 51-yard pick-six) and had a quarterback rating of 65.9. Both his completion percentage and quarterback rating were season lows.
"I’ve always said, that I never want to hurt the team. I’m not going to be that guy that plays past his ability," Roethlisberger said on Wednesday. "If I feel like I can’t be out there and I’m not doing it at a high level, I’m not giving my team the best chance to win, then I’m going to hang it up. Obviously, some of that is just frustration from the game, but I will always go home every week and evaluate the way that I played, the way that I feel, pray heavily over it. I feel like when the time is right, I’ll know it. So, I’m going to go out there this week and give it everything I have to get this team back on track because I feel it is a special team. I’m not going to sit here and talk about the end of the season because we know at the end of the season, you’ll talk about that. I’ll never just hang it up in the middle of the season, obviously."
Roethlisberger also gave a message to everyone to just calm down. The Steelers are still 11-2 and have clinched a playoff berth, and have three games left in the regular season to get things corrected.
"This team is special. The season is not over," Roethlisberger said. "I want everyone out there to just take a deep breath. I know it’s kind of crazy right now. I just want everyone to take a deep breath. We’ve got time. That’s my mindset, too. Take a deep breath, let’s get ready to go this week."