Ben Roethlisberger met with the media Wednesday for the first time since leaving Monday night's win at Washington with an injured shoulder. Here's what the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers had to say about his injured shoulder and his play in the first eight games of this season.
Any update on the shoulder?
You'll have to ask coach. We're just taking it one day at a time.
How are you feeling?
Like I do after a lot of games, a little sore. But like I said, we'll take it one day at a time and get better.
Did you just hit it on the sneak?
Yeah, the linebacker, I think it was London (Fletcher), he just hit it. He's got some pretty big legs and that's what happened.
Do you have a target date of when you'd like to practice this week?
As soon as I can. As soon as I'm able to. We'll see how it is tomorrow and kind of go from there.
Is it up to you?
I hope so. I let coach know how I feel and he makes the ultimate decision on what happens.
Mike said you haven't been 100 percent since Houston.
That's a true enough statement.
With that said, would a week off help you?
You all want me to take a week off. It seems like everyone's saying that to me. I took a week off during the bye week and still didn't get to 100 percent. I don't think that's going to help it. It's that time of year, we're halfway. It's the stretch for me and it's time to start playing better football.
Does it feel different than it did before? Is it worse than it has been?
I think what happened was that it was getting a lot better and then it's back to square one. I played through it before. I'll do it again.
Did you hurt it at all on that follow through?
No, that just stung my hand a little bit. I didn't hurt my shoulder on that.
Is the sneak out of the playbook?
I hope not, we'll see, though.
Is this the kind of thing where you're just going to have to play with a sore shoulder the rest of the season?
We play a contact sport. Every single person here plays with some kind of pain. If that's what you've got to do, that's what you've got to do.
A right shoulder for a quarterback is not the ideal situation.
No, you could think of a lot of places you'd rather get hurt, but you can't always control where your injuries are and we'll move on.
You looked a little off timing-wise with Santonio (Holmes), was that because of his absence or were you feeling a little worse than you have lately.
It was one of those things where we were all feeling a little off. It wasn't just him or just me. I think it was a little bit of all of us early. I'm not worried about it. I don't think he's worried about it if you ask him. This is the second half of the season for us and me and you'll see a different quarterback and a different offense, I think.
Is this just an issue of pain management for you?
You'll have to ask the doctors. I don't know the specifics if I get hit again. I just know I'll get out there and play if I can.
A lot of guys would say a week would do them good off, but you want to play.
That would hurt me. That would hurt my heart more than anything. I've told my guys before that until they carry me off, I want to be out there. I'm going to do what I can to be out there.
What do you want to change in the second half?
You'll have to wait and see. You'll see.
The networks said you showed up for meetings with a brace on your left thumb.
I've still got it, see, I'm wearing it now. I'm not hiding anything.
Is that still a significant injury as well?
Sure, I tore a ligament in it. Doctors have said I'll probably wear this brace for eight weeks, until the end of the season. It's just something that feels better but you have to keep it on to keep the thumb from bending all the way back.
Is it tough on the snaps?
Yeah, it hurts.
Were you pleased with the results of the MRI?
Yes and no. You're never happy with any injury, but it's nothing new that I haven't had before. I just aggravated a previous injury.
Can you run us through how Byron (Leftwich) came in in the second half?
I talked to coach at halftime and the thing was, I told him, ‘We've got the lead.' I had faith in our defense and in Byron to run the offense and they would make it hold up for us. He did just that. When you have a backup like that with Charlie Batch and now Byron, you have all the confidence in the world that they can get it done. It gives you confidence that if you do have an injury and you can't get out there for some reason, they can pick it up and never skip a beat. It really felt good to watch him get us the victory.
When was the thumb injured?
Giants game, right before the half.
Is that going to require surgery at the end of the year?
I don't think so, I'm going to try not to.
Just to clarify, the MRI didn't show anything?
I'm not going to talk about my shoulder or thumb any more. We can talk about the game or nothing.
I think we've got a good game plan. I think we're ready. We're 6-2. That's the best thing about everything. On offense we haven't played our best football, not even close.
Why are we going to see a better offense? Are you going to change some things?
No we're not going to change anything. I have played sub-par football to date and it's time for that to change and it will change. As my performance changes, you'll see some changes in the offense because we'll be clicking more. You'll see more completions and things will happen nice.