The Pittsburgh Steelers’ health is turning into rust as injuries keep on piling up two weeks into the 2021 NFL season.
During the game, linebacker T.J. Watt left in the first half due to a groin injury.
Starting nose tackle Tyson Alualu will also have surgery on his fractured ankle, putting him on injured reserve.
Those starters on both sides of the ball are essential to Pittsburgh’s success.
Coach Tomlin speaks to the media about the game against the Raiders, provides an update on player injuries and more. pic.twitter.com/jLUGd0Qhes
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 19, 2021
Watt led the league in quarterback sacks last year, while Alualu’s size enables their linebackers to activate the pass rush.
Haden is one of Pittsburgh’s stalwarts in the secondary, while Johnson is the team’s leading receiver after two games.
Unfortunately, their injury concerns are just beginning because Ben Roethlisberger is also dealing with a left pectoral injury.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has no idea when the injury exactly occurred.
However, Roethlisberger absorbed ten hits and two sacks against the Raiders.
It’s the first time since 2018 that the two-time champion received more than one sack in back-to-back games.
— The Fantasy Source 🔮🏈 (@FantasySource_) September 21, 2021
He did complain about some soreness after their season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
But the 18-year quarterback chose to play against Las Vegas.
Roethlisberger’s condition prompted Tomlin to express that the Steelers must adjust at quarterback if needed.
There’s no final word yet regarding the veteran’s status, but Pittsburgh hopes he can play in Week 3 against division rival Cincinnati.
The decision regarding Big Ben will depend on the report that team physicians will release this week.
What’s Next For Pittsburgh?
Roethlisberger’s recovery period will depend on the injury’s severity.
At 39 years old and with a lengthy injury history, it might take time for him to feel comfortable again.
In 2019, he suffered an elbow injury in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks.
That was a massive blow for the Steelers as Roethlisberger missed the remainder of the season.
He’s also incurred injuries on his foot, head, ribs, shoulder, and knee throughout his career.
The accumulation of injuries might cause him to miss a few weeks of football action.
Mason Rudolph will take over Roethlisberger once that happens.
Legit the Steelers would be better if they started Mason Rudolph over Ben at this point.
— Flex Burkhead (@flexburkhead) September 21, 2021
Last season, the backup quarterback from Oklahoma State played five games and finished with 25 completions for 324 yards.
Rudolph also threw for two touchdowns.
If he doesn’t work out once Roethlisberger misses some games, the Steelers will turn to Dwayne Haskins.
The young quarterback showed much promise at Ohio State that Washington drafted him 15th overall in 2019.
However, Washington released him after breaking COVID-19 safety protocols twice.
The Steelers signed him as he hopes to bring his career back on the right track.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 27, 2021
A monumental divisional battle is at stake in Week 3, and Pittsburgh hopes that Ben Roethlisberger will be ready to play.
Having a less than 100 percent Big Ben is still their best chance to win because he strikes fear to the opposition.