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View Full Version : Big Ben's broken thumb begets adjustments



JAR
11-22-2011, 10:39 AM
Unorthodox handoffs and some snaps from a formation that isn't used very often.

Those are adjustments Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers might make as the star quarterback plays the rest of the season with a broken right thumb.

Roethlisberger threw Monday for the first time since getting hurt in a Nov. 13 game at Cincinnati. The only thing he could say definitively following practice is that the injury won't keep him from playing Sunday night in Kansas City.

"It hurts first off just to grip the ball. It's something you've got to get used to," Roethlisberger said of the injury on his throwing hand. "Coach (Mike Tomlin) told me not to throw (yesterday), but I was like, 'I want some snaps, I want to throw some.' Obviously I didn't take any under center snaps but I wanted to get a few reps in, at least get the feel for it. It's early to really tell too much. We're just going to take it day by day, and I can promise you I'll be out there."

Roethlisberger practiced on a limited basis Monday, the first time the players went through drills since last Wednesday. He wore a glove and a splint on his right hand, and those may not be the only measures Roethlisberger takes to protect the thumb that he also broke during the 2005 season.

He said he may use his left hand when giving the ball to the Steelers' running backs, depending on how difficult and painful it is to do so with his strong hand.

Also, Roethlisberger said he took snaps out of the pistol Monday.

It is the same formation the Steelers used at times last season when Roethlisberger played through a broken bone in his right foot. Snaps are not taken directly from center in the pistol — the quarterback isn't as deep as when he is taking snaps out of a shotgun — and the running back lines up next to the quarterback.

"At all costs we try to avoid that because it's tougher on the back to see around me," Roethlisberger said the pistol formation, "but if that's how we have to get through some practice and plays, we'll do that."

Working around Roethlisberger's injury beats the alternative — or the situation Chicago is in after Bears quarterback Jay Cutler broke his thumb and likely ended his season.

Cutler hurt his thumb while making a tackle following an interception. Roethlisberger said Cutler's injury won't give him pause if he has to play defense because of a turnover.

"There's no way I can sit there and say, 'I've got to make this tackle. Oh wait, Jay got hurt ...' No, it's just go after them and get them down," Roethlisberger said. "Hopefully you don't have to make a tackle -- that's the first problem."

Steelers players may not be doing much today; it's their day off. They resume practice tomorrow, when the emphasis will shift to Kansas City.

Free safety Ryan Clark said practice yesterday helped ease the Steelers players back into their routines following the bye.

"I think it's good to get everyone back in the building," Clark said. "The biggest thing for us is just getting back in the groove of not having a weekend of playing football this weekend. Those guys are going to have those reps to build upon to watch on film where we've been off."

Read more: Big Ben's broken thumb begets adjustments - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1eRfCPmiH (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_768519.html#ixzz1eRfCPmiH)

MeetJoeGreene
11-22-2011, 12:09 PM
We shouldn't need Ben to beat KC. I would dress him as 2nd QB and let Batch play... only have Ben play if Batch gets hurt or is really stinking.

aggiebones
11-22-2011, 12:58 PM
Crap, thought it was his non-throwing hand.

So why does Cutler miss the rest of the season with the same injury? Cutler broke his thumb too, correct?

grotonsteel
11-22-2011, 01:21 PM
We shouldn't need Ben to beat KC. I would dress him as 2nd QB and let Batch play... only have Ben play if Batch gets hurt or is really stinking.

:Agree

WindyCitySteel
11-22-2011, 03:24 PM
If Ben can play, he plays. Benching him as a precaution sends the team a message that this is an easy game.

We need this and every other game.

SMASHMOUTHFOOTBALL
11-22-2011, 04:35 PM
Crap, thought it was his non-throwing hand.

So why does Cutler miss the rest of the season with the same injury? Cutler broke his thumb too, correct?


Some breaks require surgery...Ben's does not and is a small break. I'm no Docter but I think this is why Ben plays and Cutler does not.

Shawn
11-22-2011, 04:46 PM
If Ben can play, he plays. Benching him as a precaution sends the team a message that this is an easy game.

We need this and every other game.

Agreed.

Eddie Spaghetti
11-22-2011, 05:57 PM
i hope you guys are kidding about sitting ben.

this team isnt that good.

RuthlessBurgher
11-22-2011, 07:07 PM
Crap, thought it was his non-throwing hand.

So why does Cutler miss the rest of the season with the same injury? Cutler broke his thumb too, correct?


Some breaks require surgery...Ben's does not and is a small break. I'm no Docter but I think this is why Ben plays and Cutler does not.

Either that or Cutler is just a puss.

http://images.cheezburger.com/completestore/2011/2/26/3f221587-6360-432a-9d39-28fdfa0539ea.jpg

hawaiiansteel
11-22-2011, 07:28 PM
On the Steelers: Roethlisberger has a grip on latest injury

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Y-DbBvf7R5Y/SXv66OGnSZI/AAAAAAAAVI0/NcAQIi0d8jg/s400/4546774-lg.jpg

The author of one of the most famous tackles by a quarterback in NFL history has advice for others playing his position on trying to tackle an opponent.

"Hopefully, you don't have to make a tackle, that's the first problem," said Ben Roethlisberger.

That only happens on turnovers and after Chicago's Jay Cutler threw an interception Sunday, he tried to tackle San Diego's Antoine Cason and came up with a broken thumb instead. Cutler will have surgery on his right thumb and Bears coach Lovie Smith said he should return before the playoffs -- assuming Chicago qualifies.

Roethlisberger has been fortunate on two counts:

http://a.espncdn.com/media/nfl/2006/0115/photo/a_roethlisberger_275.jpg

• He made the tackle on Indianapolis cornerback Nick Harper to possibly save a touchdown after a Jerome Bettis goal-line fumble in the closing minute of their 2005 playoff game. The tackle -- made without injury to Roethlisberger -- helped preserve a 21-18 victory en route to a sixth Super Bowl win.

• His own broken right thumb, injured Nov. 13 in the third quarter at Cincinnati, did not require surgery. He was back throwing the ball in practice Monday after taking the open week off and fully expects to play Sunday night in Kansas City.

"Cutler's injury should have no affect on decisions by quarterbacks whether to go for a tackle or not on a turnover," Roethlisberger said.

"I'm a tackling machine," he joked. "It's natural. There's no way I could sit there and say, 'I have to make this tackle -- Oh, wait, Jay got hurt, how do I do this?' No, it's just go after him and get him down."

Roethlisberger wore a splint on his thumb and a glove on his right hand, something he said he will wear the rest of the season. He threw some passes for the first time since the injury, even though coach Mike Tomlin told him not to, but did not take snaps under center or hand the ball off to anyone, all of which might be a little tricky with a broken thumb.

"It's definitely different," Roethlisberger said of the way he throws. "It hurts first off to just grip the ball. It's something you have to get used to. Coach told me not to go today but I was like I want to get some reps, I want to throw some. I didn't take any under-center snaps. I wanted to take a few reps and at least get a feel for it and get used to it."

He said there will continue to be some pain and that it cannot be numbed because he has to feel the ball.

"It's so early to really tell too much. We're just going to take it day by day and I promise you I'll be out there."

Earlier, when his foot was injured he went into a semi-shotgun formation, which could be possible Sunday night if they believe taking the snap is a problem.

"The Pistol-type thing? Yep. We did a little bit of that today too," Roethlisberger said. "We did it in Baltimore when my foot was hurt. At all costs we try to avoid that because it's tougher on the back to see around me. We're trying to avoid that but if that's how we have to get through some practices and plays then we'll do that."

There's also an otherwise simple matter of handing the ball off with his right hand -- the thumb can get caught or twisted during an exchange.

"It can," Roethlisberger said. "We didn't do any of that today either. It's one of those ones if I do feel [it's a problem] I'll just hand off with my left hand all the time. ... Or we won't call that [dive to the left] play."

Still no word on Woodley

Sidney Crosby returned to play Monday night for the Penguins after more than 10 months of speculation about his return to the ice.

Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley knows what it's like to answer daily questions in a more limited way. He has not played since his hamstring was injured Oct. 30 when he was leading the AFC with nine sacks at the halfway point of the season.

Three weeks later, he still has not gone through a full practice and says he still does not know when he will return.

"I was limited out there, I did a few things at practice," Woodley said. "I had a good practice when I was out there.

"The worst thing about this hamstring injury is they take time to heal. You look at guys across the league coming back too early sometimes, the next thing you know they're out 2-3 more weeks."

Dinner honors Gammage

Ray Seals, a starting defensive end for the Steelers Blitzburgh defenses of 1994 and '95, has returned to town to help honor his late cousin Johnny Gammage by helping to throw a Thanksgiving dinner for the less fortunate Wednesday in Homewood.

Gammage, who partnered with Seals on a number of charity events, died during an infamous traffic stop Oct. 12, 1995, involving police from Brentwood, Baldwin and Whitehall. Gammage was driving Seals' car at the time.

"We're giving a free Thanksgiving dinner for the less fortunate in honor of my cousin, Johnny Gammage," Seals said.

The festivities will take place from 3-7 p.m. at the New Lady Di's Crystal Lounge at 7906 Frankstown Ave. in Homewood. Seals said donations of clothing and food are welcome.

Sanders returns

Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders returned to practice after missing the past three weeks. Sanders left the team the first week of November after his mother died unexpectedly in Texas. He also had a knee injury from their Oct. 30 game against the Patriots that required arthroscopic surgery Nov. 7 to repair a meniscus.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11326/11 ... z1eTYly8mk (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11326/1191611-66-0.stm#ixzz1eTYly8mk)

BradshawsHairdresser
11-22-2011, 09:05 PM
Broken thumb in colder weather doesn't sound like it bodes well when it comes to turnovers.
Hope I'm wrong.

pfelix73
11-22-2011, 11:58 PM
He'll be fine. Might just be in the shot gun more than under center...

No worries...

:tt1

fordfixer
11-23-2011, 02:09 AM
Steelers: Roethlisberger should play against KC
http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2 ... ity-chiefs (http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2011-11-22/ben-roethlisberger-injured-qb-pittsburgh-steelers-kansas-city-chiefs)

PITTSBURGH—Ben Roethlisberger's fractured right thumb didn't put him on the sidelines the day it happened—the Steelers' Nov. 13 win at Cincinnati. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin says it won't keep him out this Sunday, either.

Tomlin said Tuesday that Roethlisberger will start at quarterback against the Kansas City Chiefs. And while Tomlin can't tell how much the thumb will affect him, he expects Roethlisberger to be effective.

"Those of us who know Ben understand that he's going to show and show for his teammates," Tomlin said.

Roethlisberger fractured the thumb during the second half against the Bengals, but didn't miss a snap. He threw for 245 yards and a touchdown, though 175 of those yards and the score came in the first half. The bye week allowed the thumb to start healing, and Roethlisberger has practiced this week.

Roethlisberger wore a splint under his glove and didn't take a snap from under center Monday, working out of shotgun and pistol formations. Yet Tomlin doesn't think direct snaps from center Maurkice Pouncey will be a problem Sunday.

"There's a pain tolerance issue," Tomlin said. "There's a comfortability issue. All of those things will be sorted out throughout the course of the week. To be honest with you, I'm not overly concerned about (Roethlisberger's) ability to be effective in the midst of this."

Even if Roethlisberger were lost to injury, Tomlin said he's fortunate with his quarterback depth. Charlie Batch is Roethlisberger's backup, with Dennis Dixon behind Batch.

"We're comfortable with the men we have at that position, in that we're capable of playing winning football regardless of who's under center," he said.

Tomlin also expects safety Troy Polamalu, slowed during the bye week with rib discomfort, to play Sunday.

Linebacker LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) and receivers Arnaz Battle (hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (knee) all practiced in a limited capacity, and Tomlin said coaches will monitor their status day by day.

Read more: http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2 ... z1eVRCBXws (http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2011-11-22/ben-roethlisberger-injured-qb-pittsburgh-steelers-kansas-city-chiefs#ixzz1eVRCBXws)

StarSpangledSteeler
11-23-2011, 12:49 PM
The biggest adjustment is that we will run the ball 60-65% of the time. This will slow down the "Chefs" pass rush and protect Ben better when he does pass. That's the big danger here. It's not so much about hurting the thumb when he hands off the ball, or grips the ball, or throws the ball. The real concern is if he lands on his thumb when he's getting sacked. You simply can't call a high number of pass plays. And when you do pass you must get the ball out quick. Fast short safe passes. Like the Pats game.

hawaiiansteel
11-26-2011, 08:14 PM
Beaver County Times

Big Ben says he'll play through pain

Fri Nov 25, 2011
by Mike Bires


PITTSBURGH - With a splint protecting his broken right thumb, Ben Roethlisberger wonders how accurate he'll be Sunday night. He also knows he'll have to withstand some pain. But those are about his only worries regarding the injury to this throwing hand.

After practicing on a limited basis Wednesday, the Steelers' star quarterback made it through the entire workout Thursday.

"When I hold the ball, I'm restricted on how far my thumb will go back," he said. "(Trainer) John Norwig and those guys have done a great job trying to ... we're tweaking it every day ... we've done a good job getting to the point where we're happy with it now.

"We'll make any necessary adjustments we have to make. It will be alright."
So there's no doubt Roethlisberger will play as the Steelers (7-3) try to improve their playoff hopes against the Chiefs (4-6).

Roethlisberger is also comforted by the fact that he managed to play through the same injury for several games in 2005 when the Steelers went on to win the Super Bowl.

"It's almost the same exact thing ... that's what I've been told," he said. "I guess there's peace of mind with me that I've gone through this before. It doesn't feel better physically, but at least mentally it feels better in that sense."

In other injury news:

- Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley will likely miss his third straight game with a hamstring injury. He practiced on a limited basis Thursday.

- After missing two games with a knee injury, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders has been cleared to play against the Chiefs.

- The only Steeler who missed practice Thursday was reserve linebacker Stevenson Sylvester with an undisclosed calf injury.

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steel ... 8750f.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steelers/big-ben-says-he-ll-play-through-pain/article_57f7f665-75ff-5546-9cc0-96298438750f.html)