The quarterback underwent an MRI on his left foot Monday following a 17-10 loss to Houston. His status for Sunday’s game against surprising Tennessee (3-1) remains uncertain.
Roethlisberger injured the foot in the fourth quarter but stayed on the field until the final seconds. He wore a protective boot while gingerly making his way out of the locker room.
If he plays _ and Roethlisberger insists he will do everything in his power to be on the field _ it won’t be the first time he’s given it a go with a bad wheel. He played the second half of the 2010 season with a broken bone in his right foot and managed to lead Pittsburgh to the AFC title.
“We saw I had to do that last year, I casted up my foot for the last half of the year,” he said. “If we have to do it, I’ll do it.”
The Titans are expecting Roethlisberger to play, boot or not boot.
“We all know what he’s accomplished and what a great player he’s been in this league and how he’s played with injuries,” said coach Mike Munchak. “We’re assuming he’s going to be healthy and ready to go.”
Pittsburgh (2-2) certainly needs him under center. If Roethlisberger can’t start then 36-year-old Charlie Batch would get the nod against the Titans.
While Batch helped the Steelers to a 3-1 record at the beginning of last season _ including a 19-11 win over Tennessee _ while Roethlisberger served a suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, he did it behind an offensive line with some semblance of stability.
This year there are no such luxuries.
Injuries to tackles Willie Colon and Jonathan Scott and guard Doug Legursky have forced the Steelers to start four different offensive line combination in as many games.
None of the have clicked.
Roethlisberger has spent the first quarter of the season under siege, getting sacked 14 times and knocked around others. The three biggest hits he’s absorbed this season came on plays in which he got the ball out before getting punished. Twice he’s been drilled in the knees by defensive linemen after releasing the pass and on Sunday his foot got crunched during Pittsburgh’s penultimate possession.
That didn’t stop him from returning to the game for a last-gasp drive and ending up completing 16 of 30 for 206 yards and a pick.