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Old 10-23-2006, 11:37 PM   #1
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Default Ben could play Sunday

By Ed Bouchette
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


ATLANTA -- Big Ben may be Lucky Ben again after it appears he came through another head injury with only mild distress and could play Sunday for the Steelers in Oakland.

Ben Roethlisberger was to visit a neurosurgeon yesterday afternoon to follow up on tests that were conducted Sunday in Atlanta after he left the game in the third quarter after a blow to his head that left him with a concussion.

Ryan Tollner, Roethlisberger's agent, spoke to his client twice Sunday night -- once after the game, before the quarterback joined his teammates for the flight home, and again after he arrived home in Pittsburgh. Tollner said while he did not know the extent of the injury, he heard nothing to lead him to believe that Roethlisberger had a severe concussion.

"He was very coherent and had no ill effects in his thinking," Tollner said. "He was aware of everything that occurred."

The Steelers would have kept Roethlisberger in Atlanta for observation had it been a severe concussion.

The team, through a spokesman, said it would have no information on Roethlisberger's condition yesterday. Coach Bill Cowher usually updates injuries to his players at his weekly news conference, scheduled for noon today. Cowher did not call the injury a concussion when he spoke to the meida after the game but did say, "Ben is sore."

Tollner would not speculate on whether Roethlisberger will play Sunday.

Roethlisberger had an appointment yesterday afternoon with Joseph Maroon, the Steelers' UPMC neurosurgeon who is vice chairman of the department of neurological surgery at Pitt's School of Medicine.

The fact the team waited nearly 24 hours before scheduling Roethlisberger to visit Maroon also was an indication the injury was not severe.

"My feeling was I was happy just to see Ben get up," Tollner said. "When he was laying motionless, it was a frightening sight. It was good to see him get up, walk off the field and return to the sideline."

Tollner also was happy to see Roethlisberger get on the charter flight back to Pittsburgh Sunday night.

"We've had other cases with clients where that individual stays in a hospital in that city overnight," Tollner said.

Roethlisberger's agent said that while he believes the quarterback will be OK, he welcomed the precautionary stance the Steelers took with him after the blow on Sunday.

"When you're talking about concussions and injuries to the brain and cerebral functions, that's far more concerning than physical injuries to the rest of the body," Tollner said. "We are intent on taking every precaution with Ben or any client we have to make sure he's never rushed back too soon, that every test and scan under consideration is exhausted."

In threes

It's said bad things happen in threes, a fact Ben Roethlisberger might attest to.

June 12:

Is involved in an accident on Second Avenue and 10th Street, which breaks his jaw, nose and orbital bone and chips some teeth. He recovers in time for training camp.

Sept. 3:

Has an emergency appendectomy and misses the season opener against the Miami Dolphins.

Oct. 22:

Knocked out of game by apparent helmet-to-helmet hit by Atlanta's Chauncey Davis.

Roethlisberger sustained what was described at the time as a mild concussion when he was injured in a motorcycle accident June 12.

But even then, injury to his brain was minimized because his face absorbed most of the blow from the car's windshield.

"Even after the motorcycle accident, Ben was functioning mentally very, very well," said Tollner, who talked to Roethlisberger the night of the accident. "It just seemed like they deemed it a concussion.

"Even after the accident he was very clear. He obviously was in a lot of pain and discomfort, but I never thought for one moment that his mind wasn't working right. He didn't have a loss of memory or the inability to put together coherent sentences or understand what people were saying.

"My point is that I've seen a lot of other scenarios with concussions, and for a few days, he might seem dazed and hazy. I never experienced that with Ben since I've known him.

"There are signs initially on impact that a person has a concussion, with dilated pupils and different things. I know some people suffer the effect of memory loss and a hazy effect. Even after the motorcycle accident when I spoke to Ben, he was clear and coherent."

Roethlisberger left Sunday's game midway through the third quarter when he was smacked to the ground by Falcons defensive end Chauncey Davis on what appeared to be an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit.
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ben could play Sunday

im starting to think ben is a lot like mcnair in terms of being injury prone but no matter how many injuries he just keeps on tickin. if he does play on sunday look for the o-line to protect him like they would their child. i think the o-line has somtin to prove not only to the quarterback(s) but to themselves. i hope he plays but i dont want him rushed back into any kind of situation...especially at oakland ya oakland might "suck" but it sure as hell aint their d. batch is more than capable of getting the job done.
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Old 10-24-2006, 07:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ben could play Sunday

i think he should sit out, just because it is the RAIDERS.
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Old 10-24-2006, 07:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ben could play Sunday

I don't care eitherway. If the doctor gives him the thumbs up, who am I to state they are wrong? If the doctor gives him the thumbs up and they still decide to sit him out against the Raiders, I have faith in Charlie against the Raiders.

Last edited by 83-Steelers-43; 10-24-2006 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 10-24-2006, 08:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ben could play Sunday

Sounds like positive signs regarding his health. That was a frightening few minutes on that field. His well being should be the main concern in deciding whether he plays. As long as he's ok.....whew!

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Old 10-24-2006, 08:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ben could play Sunday

I, too, think Ben should sit out on Sunday, but obviously, that's not my call. I'd feel better if he was seeing a different neurosurgeon for reasons I won't go into here. I think Ben throws caution to the wind a little too much at times - he's not Superman. We're playing the Raiders this week - why not play it safe and start Charlie?

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Old 10-24-2006, 08:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ben could play Sunday

They need to sit Ben on sunday, give him an extra week of rest & preparation. The 2nd concussion generally needs more time to heal than the 1st one, so let Ben take some time off to prevent further problems in the future. Batch would do just fine against the Raiders, hell, St. Pierre would do just fine against the Raiders.....
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Old 10-24-2006, 10:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ben could play Sunday

I say start ben........Run up the score and then let ben sit the after half time.......or if necessary let him play the third quarter just to keep his momentum going........

He looked good before he got hurt
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ben could play Sunday

if he's cleared to play than he should certainly play
i dont understand why anyone would think he shoud not
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Old 10-24-2006, 02:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ben could play Sunday

he should sit, charlie proved that he is very capable. get healthy we need him for the stretch run, besides it's the raiders. as long as we don't let randy moss go nuts we should be fine.
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