As Ben Roethlisberger hobbled around the field on Monday night, it was clear the injured Steelers quarterback was nowhere near 100 percent -- perhaps closer to 50 percent. Facing a stout San Francisco 49ers defense, Roethlisberger threw for over 300 yards, but failed to find the end zone while turning the ball over four times -- three interceptions and a fumble. With a 20-3 loss, Pittsburgh's hopes of winning the AFC North are all but out the window, leaving many to wonder if it's time to sit Roethlisberger for the rest of the season.
The Steelers are already hinting strongly that Roethlisberger may sit this weekend. Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke argues the Steelers need to sit their ailing quarterback -- at least in Week 16, if not the following week, as well -- to succeed in the playoffs.
With Roethlisberger unable to move around and keep a play alive with his feet, the passing game suffered. And with his ankle keeping him from working under center, the effects were also seen in the running game, Burke says.
That hampered the Steelers’ run game — Rashard Mendenhall rushed for just 64 yards, though San Francisco has shut down just about every running back its faced — and put a lot of pressure on Pittsburgh’s banged-up offensive line, which was missing center Maurkice Pouncey.
As Roethlisberger goes, so goes the offense. It may just be Charlie Batch time -- temporarily -- in Pittsburgh.
You can read the rest of Burke's thoughts on Roethlisberger's injury over at Sports Illustrated.