Ben Roethlisberger in Concussion Protocol After Hit

During the NFL preseason, quarterbacks wear redshirts for a reason. It’s supposed to serve as a reminder to defensive players that they don’t want to be hitting the QB during practice. On Tuesday of this week, the unthinkable happened. As he was rolling out to the right on a play from scrimmage, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ran into his offensive right tackle Marcus Gilbert and defensive linebacker Keion Adams.

As Roethlisberger fell to the ground, a hush fell over the entire Steelers’ squad. The last thing they needed was the team’s starting QB missing any portion of the regular season because of a freak accident that occurred during practice. Initial reports came back that the fall didn’t look good.

Fortunately, Big Ben was able to get to his feet under his own power. After speaking briefly with teammates and team medical staffers, it looked as though he would be okay. Still, the team didn’t want to take any chances with its Pro-Bowl QB. He walked out of practice into the dressing room unassisted but with coaches and trainers walking with him.

It was clear Gilbert felt bad about the incident. In a press interview, he stated, “It happened so fast. I saw his head whip back,” Gilbert said. “I’ve got to see the film to see what happened. That’s my guy. No one wants to see anything happen to him, especially in a practice like this, coming to work and going and not tackling.”

As a safety measure, Roethlisberger will be observed under the NFL’s concussion protocol rules. He will remain there until cleared by the team’s medical staff and the NFL. Based on information provided by both Roethlisberger and a few teammates, he should be fine. He might miss this week’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, but it doesn’t look like the concussion injury is going to jeopardize his starting status for the regular season, which begins on September 10 against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland.

At 36 years old, Big Ben is still considered one of the NFL’s top QBs. Over the last three seasons, he has missed at least one game due to some type of injury. In 2015, he spent four weeks under the concussion protocol after sustaining a hit to the head during the September 28th 2015 game against the Los Angeles Rams. The current injury doesn’t look near as serious as the injury he sustained back then.

As online sports gamblers start lining up their NFL free picks for the upcoming season, they would be well-served to pay attention to injury reports coming out of all 32 training camps. Even though star players see limited action during preseason games, the occasional freak accident is going to happen from time to time. The Steelers might be fine with Roethlisberger for a game or two, but it’s not something the team or sports gamblers want to have to think about. Be sure to always read the latest injury reports before betting on NFL games.

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