Early Saturday afternoon Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin provided an update on the injury status of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger heading into Monday night’s showdown against the Chicago Bears. Specifically asked about the extent of the right shoulder injury that first appeared on Friday’s injury/practice participation report, Tomlin sidestepped the question.
“Ben’s playing. It’s just things to manage,” he said, perhaps also referring to the pectoral and hip injuries that have plagued Roethlisberger in recent weeks.
“He’s been doing it a long time, I’ve been doing it a long time with him. We generally do a good job of communicating and managing such things. You should anticipate him playing.”
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That hardly a comforting answer, especially since Roethlisberger looked “extremely old” while trying to play through multiple ailments earlier this season. The pectoral issue first came to light prior to the Week 3 game against the Bengals and the hip injury was revealed prior to the Week 5 contest against the Broncos.
It’s also perhaps worth noting that Tomlin said he gave free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick “the day off” on Saturday, this according to Brooke Pryor of ESPN, who indicates that Fitzpatrick is also expected to play on Monday night.
Kicker Chris Boswell Expected to Play Against the Bears
If there’s good news from Saturday, it’s that placekicker Chris Boswell appears to be on track to return to the lineup against Chicago. Boswell was limited in practice on Thursday (concussion) but was a full participant on Friday.
On November 2, the Steelers signed former Jacksonville Jaguars placekicker Josh Lambo to the practice squad, as insurance in case Boswell can’t suit up. A day later, Boswell was one of three Steelers named to Pro Football Focus’ midseason All-Pro team, alongside defensive lineman Cam Heyward and outside linebacker T.J. Watt, with Heyward the lone first-teamer.
Any Steelers Ruled Out For Monday Night?
Meanwhile, only one Steelers player has been ruled out of Monday night’s game, that being tight end Eric Ebron, who did not practice on Thursday or Saturday (ankle), but was a limited participant on Friday. Offensive lineman B.J. Finney is listed as questionable (back), as he was limited on Thursday and Saturday and did not practice at all on Friday.
The injury that is bothering Minkah Fitzpatrick is a foot issue. He appeared on this week’s injury list for the first time on Saturday.
Heyward has been on the injury report all week (ankle), but was a full participant in practice on both Friday and Saturday.
The Bears have already ruled out four players from Monday’s game, those being quarterback Nick Foles, tight end J.P. Holtz, linebacker Khalil Mack and running back Damien Williams. Defensive back Eddie Jackson is doubtful with a hamstring injury and linebacker Alec Ogletree and wide receiver Darnell Mooney are both questionable, with an ankle and groin, respectively.
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