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Ward says locker room is "50-50" on whether Ben should have played

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger won’t be starting tonight’s game against the Ravens, due to the lingering effects of a concussion.

Roethlisberger, as widely reported, was not cleared by a neurologist.

But teammate Hines Ward hints at a locker room divided on the question of whether Ben should have played.

“This game is almost like a playoff game,” Ward told NBC’s Bob Costas.  “It’s almost a ‘must’ win.  So, I can see some players or some teammates kind of questioning like, ‘Well, it’s just a concussion.  I’ve played with concussions before.  I would go out there and play.’  So, it’s almost like a 50-50 toss-up in the locker room.  You know, should he play, shouldn’t he play.  It’s really hard to say.

“I’ve been out there dinged up.  The following week, [I] got right back out there.  You know, Ben practiced all week. . . .  To find out that he’s still having some headaches and not playing and it came down to doctor’s didn’t feel that they was gonna clear him. . . .  It’s hard to say, unless you’re the person. . . .  I’ve lied to a couple of doctors saying ‘I’m straight, I feel good,’ when I knew I’m really not straight.  But I don’t think guys really about the future when they’re playing currently in the NFL. . . . 

“Trust me, the players, they wanna go out there because these games, you don’t get back.  You’re never gonna get this Baltimore-Pittsburgh game back.”


Though Hines never says, “Ben is being soft,” the import is clear.  Hines is essentially saying, “Ben is being soft.”

So what does Ward think should Roethlisberger have done?  The answer, based on Ward’s words, is clear:  Ben should have lied about his status and sucked it up and played.

And we suspect that some of the 50 percent of the players who think Roethlisberger should be playing believe that the quarterback’s reputation for being a drama queen contributed to this situation.  Indeed, if he’d merely said nothing about how he was feeling, he’d likely be something other than the emergency quarterback during a game tonight that he’s “never gonna get back.”
But we all know that, when it comes to his various and sundry injuries, Ben can never say nothing.

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49 Responses to “Ward says locker room is "50-50" on whether Ben should have played”
  1. kevnz says: Nov 29, 2009 8:26 PM

    Ruh Roh! Sounds like trouble in the locker room. Of course it couldn’t happen to a nicer team. HA HA!

  2. twinsanity says: Nov 29, 2009 8:27 PM

    It’s gonna take someone dying from a hit to the head for these cats to understand this stuff is serious. Pittsburgh needs Ben for the next 10 seasons not the next 2 games.

  3. lezmaka says: Nov 29, 2009 8:27 PM

    What? No pimping of the lousy Sunday Night Football chat this week?

  4. thetuz says: Nov 29, 2009 8:28 PM

    I’m telling ya. Someone needs to slap Hines on the helmet with a sledge hammer. Past NFL players are still suffering physical and mental hardships from too many concussions. Some can’t tie their own shoes, hold their kids, add numbers together, etc. Way to think of yourself Hines instead of the health of your Quarterback and teammate. Moron.

  5. FireJerryJones says: Nov 29, 2009 8:28 PM

    How is it ok for him to even be the emergency QB?
    He’s either good to go, or he shouldn’t dress.

  6. hayward giablommi says: Nov 29, 2009 8:28 PM

    Hines is a low class individual, thus these comments do not surprise me.
    Here’s hoping he gets a taste of his own medicine and Ray Lewis (or anyone else) puts him in a persistant vegitative state this evening.

  7. Koheba says: Nov 29, 2009 8:29 PM

    Yeah I just have never seen someone say they were ready and practice all week (taking snaps away from their soon-to-be backup) and then suddenly back out at last minute. It may have been to mess with the Ratbirds gameplan or it just is what it is but this will be a tough game either way. Get well soon Ben and Troy.

  8. this class sucks says: Nov 29, 2009 8:32 PM

    This is the culture of the NFL and it needs to change. Anyone who says Ben should play is a moron. Look up Mike Webster.

  9. dudeman_21 says: Nov 29, 2009 8:32 PM

    You’re an idiot. Now you’re making crap up. You freakin’ suck at your “job.” Ward isn’t saying that. the DOCTORS won’t let him play. You douche.

  10. blackglass says: Nov 29, 2009 8:33 PM

    The Steelers self destruction has been a joy to watch.

  11. LiveNBreatheFootball says: Nov 29, 2009 8:33 PM

    Is Hines Ward going to take in Ben and feed and change him when Ben can’t do it for himself because his brain is mush?
    Ben was NOT medically cleared. How that allows him to even be the third QB, I don’t know.

  12. Easy Ed says: Nov 29, 2009 8:34 PM

    Hines is not only the dirtiest player in the NFL, he’s the most ignorant too. Looking forward to him getting concussed tonight.

  13. davidc45629 says: Nov 29, 2009 8:38 PM

    Half the locker room wants their QB to play whether its good for him or not but yet Bradshaw blames the league?

  14. elduderino13 says: Nov 29, 2009 8:40 PM

    Hines just keeps on giving cheap shots.
    You’re not going to get this game back? Moron – you’re not going to get your brain function back, either.

  15. Jezebel says: Nov 29, 2009 8:41 PM

    Would much rather Big Ben sit out a game due to a concussion than have him die homeless and alone like Mike Webster.
    Hines Ward, you’re a great player……probably a future Hall of Famer but, shame on you. What goes on in a locker room STAYS in the locker room. My opinion of you, sadly, dropped when I saw this interview.

  16. Furious George says: Nov 29, 2009 8:46 PM

    this guy is about as classless as they come. he should go back to stealing money from his business partners.

  17. Onderin says: Nov 29, 2009 8:48 PM

    I don’t really see the what you think he’s implying in those quotes. Seems like he simply played both side of the spectrum with some people thinking he should be out there because the game is important and he practiced, but the doctors said no.

  18. jas7n says: Nov 29, 2009 8:50 PM

    I’d always had a lot of respect for the way Hines carried himself off the field until tonight. That was gross. A real leader would have backed his QB, his teammate and you’d think his friend. Instead he not only said he had a problem with Ben’s choice he made it sound like half his locker room does as well.
    I can’t remember if it was Dungy or Harrison who said it but the league is not going to make any progress on concussions until they all get on the same page. Personally, having read a lot of comments from doctors who have no affiliation with the NFL I don’t think there’s a lot anyone can do about concussions in football unless they’re going to change the basic nature of the game but at least they’re finally trying and if guys still think of suffering a concussion as being “dinged up” maybe they should start with educating players on the subject so they know what they’re truly risking by playing with those type of brain injuries.
    I really hope someone starts to keep track of all these quotes from guys who say they can’t remember going back into games or lied about their symptoms to get back on the field so the world can see what their health is like down the road.

  19. Deb says: Nov 29, 2009 9:00 PM

    Ben’s already had several concussions, making him a prime candidate for post-concussion syndrome after his playing days. That’s not an act–it’s a fact. Anyone who thinks Ben should lie about his symptoms and risk not only the rest of this season, but his career and long-term health for the sake of one game is an absolute idiot. That includes you and Hines–IF that was his implication. The Steelers are his employer; he doesn’t owe them his life.
    Sometimes being a man means having the balls to stand up and do the right thing–like telling the doctor the truth. I realize that doesn’t make for as sexy a PFT post as your drama-queen/trouble-in-the-Steelers-ranks rant. But it makes for a smart, responsible QB. I’m thrilled to have him–and I want to keep him safe and healthy for a long time to come.

  20. tbtsm15 says: Nov 29, 2009 9:04 PM

    Consistency anyone?!?!
    Should Roethlisberger “tough it out” and lie, or should the NFL be protecting its players from head injuries? You can’t call him a pansy for doing what you recommend.

  21. affinity says: Nov 29, 2009 9:05 PM

    This just goes to show that Roger Goodell and the NFLPA have a long road to travel when it comes to the NFL culture and concussions. If what Hines said was true about half the team thinking Ben should have lied about his symptoms, then it makes you wonder whether other teams feel the same if it were their teammate. If this is case, then the NFL needs to look to new strategies on how to educate their players.

  22. boysroll says: Nov 29, 2009 9:06 PM

    hines is a dope…i hope the ravens knock him out and he goes through the same thing so ben can question his manhood too…..boy….talk about idiots but what do u expect from pitts….

  23. Majik Man says: Nov 29, 2009 9:06 PM

    The only reason this is even brought up is Big Ben’s history of being a huge vagina and milking every injury for everything it’s got. If he wasn’t so soft, no one would question him sitting out.

  24. bmac187 says: Nov 29, 2009 9:07 PM

    “Hines is a low class individual”, says the commentor with the handle hayward giablommi.
    oh, the irony.
    i do agree though. always has been, always will.

  25. this class sucks says: Nov 29, 2009 9:11 PM

    Don’t blame Ward, almost every NFL player has this attitude. We really can’t understand what it’s like as fans to take this kind of punishment with the pressure to go out perform through any and all injuries. The latest studies on concussions are conclusive evidence that the NFL needs to change the rules to state that every NFL team has to consult an independant nuerololagist and if he is 100% sure he is good to go then he cannot go.

  26. SFrancis1680 says: Nov 29, 2009 9:14 PM

    WOW FLORIO, that’s impressive, YOUR ABILITY TO READ MINDS, … you must get a lot of practice from those times when Mrs. Florio tells you not tonite, she’s got a headache

  27. darrius_heyward-bey-butterfingers says: Nov 29, 2009 9:16 PM

    Hines is sayin’ Ben snitched on himself to the docs.

  28. stnmmc says: Nov 29, 2009 9:23 PM

    # hayward giablommi says: November 29, 2009 8:28 PM
    Hines is a low class individual, thus these comments do not surprise me.
    Here’s hoping he gets a taste of his own medicine and Ray Lewis (or anyone else) puts him in a persistant vegitative state this evening.
    um, asking for someone to be but in a PERSISTENT VEGETATIVE state is one of the most classless and unsporting things you could do. And though you tried to class up your post with a thus you show your true colors with poor spelling and a lack of respect for the opposition. Your the guy who tells his pop warner team to take out the other team’s QB. Grow up moron.

  29. Strongbow says: Nov 29, 2009 9:40 PM

    I always figured Ward was a classless player, judging from his dirty play on the field. His comments concerning his teammates head injury confirm he’s a classless individual off the field. What an idiot.

  30. Phokus says: Nov 29, 2009 9:41 PM

    ROFLberger has always been a whiner and a wuss.
    Remember that 2004 afc championship game where he claimed to have broken toes or some b.s.?

  31. Phokus says: Nov 29, 2009 9:43 PM

    There’s so many rules protecting the QB’s, ben is a true wuss to not play.

  32. bmac187 says: Nov 29, 2009 9:44 PM

    # stnmmc says: November 29, 2009 9:23 PM
    Your the guy who tells his pop warner team to take out the other team’s QB.
    I think what you meant to say was “YOU’RE the guy”. As in you are, not as in belonging to you. If YOU’RE going to play grammar police, start with YOUR own posts.

  33. slipkid says: Nov 29, 2009 9:50 PM

    ward is a fool.
    he must always be smiling as a result of that.

  34. The Candyman says: Nov 29, 2009 9:54 PM

    I am a Big Ben fan, but I agree with Ward, if you can dress, then you should play. If not do like Troy stand on the sidelines in street clothes. I think he figured he was playing the Ravens and he knows he is getting hit when he plays then Ravens so he thought about it and decided, maybe I need day off. He should be in street clothes. Being dress and ready to play leaves us all questioning his acitons.

  35. Steelshade says: Nov 29, 2009 9:57 PM

    Ben is such a drama queen, Hines is just saying what others are thinking. To see him standing on the sidelines cheering and jumping up and down makes me sick. I wish they would quit showing him repeatedly. I would rather watch the game than him and Potomalu. Some times you have to suck it up and play. If we lose tonight our season is over, Cinn. swept the entire division.

  36. Runnin' outta fingers says: Nov 29, 2009 10:11 PM

    The more you crap on a popular player or team, the more traffic the site gets.

  37. Deb says: Nov 29, 2009 10:17 PM

    Since women push babies out of their vaginas, creating a level of pain most men couldn’t handle with a truckload of Percocet, it’s interesting to see one use that term as a synonym for “soft.”
    Ben isn’t “sitting out.” As Andrea Kremer reported prior to the game, though he begged last night to be allowed to play, the doctor and Tomlin vetoed. He’s in uniform but would only be allowed to hand off in the event both QBs were injured and unable to perform. But why let facts get in the way of a another opportunity to Steeler-bash?

  38. cunn9305 says: Nov 29, 2009 10:20 PM

    If the docs clear you then you should play … Ben knew he screwed up because Kramer said he made an 11th hour plea to play last night but you can’t cry wolf which is exactly what he did. The fact that they didn’t bring in a vet QB says the teanm thought he was OK. Let’s face it he has a habit of doing this.

  39. stnmmc says: Nov 29, 2009 10:20 PM

    # bmac187 says: November 29, 2009 9:44 PM
    # stnmmc says: November 29, 2009 9:23 PM
    Your the guy who tells his pop warner team to take out the other team’s QB.
    I think what you meant to say was “YOU’RE the guy”. As in you are, not as in belonging to you. If YOU’RE going to play grammar police, start with YOUR own posts.
    Point well taken, though that was not the intent of my post, I am/was shocked at the wish for serious injury to someone over something as trivial as a game, whether we like it or not it is still a game in the end.
    Not trying to bail myself out on a technicality, but I was playing spelling police, not grammar police. If that were the case I would have to bust myself for all the run-ons with no periods.
    Again, You’re correct.

  40. skolvikes says: Nov 29, 2009 10:31 PM

    Who doesn’t love the Ward/Reed matchup? the highlights of Ward laying Reed out were great!
    Thats the kind of trash talk that is alright in the NFL.

  41. BDC_N_DC says: Nov 29, 2009 10:42 PM

    Hines is just mad that Ben didn’t try blood doping his brain…

  42. Wick says: Nov 29, 2009 11:47 PM

    Anyone who’s ever fastened a chinstrap that’s not a kicker would be disgusted a player would ever not do everything he could to be on the field against an arch rival at their place under the lights on national tv.
    Really surprised this is how it played out. Unreal.

  43. cobrala2 says: Nov 30, 2009 12:04 AM

    I wonder if Hines had a concussion when Bettis retired and he got all wet like the soft pussy he really is.

  44. zibit says: Nov 30, 2009 2:11 AM

    “I just wish Ben had the courage to go out there, evaluate a play, run out of it, circle back into it (as its ending) and place a helmet to helmet hit on a guy not involved in the play who doesn’t see you, only to fail to block someone that is involved, I just wish he had that courage. to give someone else a concussion”
    -Hines Ward

  45. WoPhat says: Nov 30, 2009 5:11 AM

    Wow! I read these quickly, but it seems like no one has blamed Belichick yet.

  46. floriohatestheravens says: Nov 30, 2009 8:53 AM

    This is what most of you who have commented DONT understand about this situation, which is what Florio was trying to point out….
    The reason Hines and 50% of the locker room are not happy with Ben is simple: if he was having ‘exercise induced headaches’ after each practice, he SHOULD HAVE been ruled OUT earlier in the week, which would have given Dixon more time to prepare. The fact that this did not surface until FRIDAY, and he wasnt ruled out until SATURDAY really hurt his team, because BEN was getting most of the reps all week. Considering Dixon has never been more than a 3rd string QB (3rd string runs the scout team during the week, thus NEVER practicing with the starters), he was VASTLY unprepared and could have used all the reps last week.
    That would be my issue with Ben….not that he didnt play but how the process played out during the week. Also, Hines said Ben COULD HAVE lied to doctors, which is true, because he passed all the ‘tests’ to play so if HE DID NOT complain of headaches the doctors WOULD NOT have ruled him out. So anyone who says the doctors ruled him out is not telling the full story. The doctors ruled him out as a result of Ben complaining about headaches after practice.
    With that said, I am NOT questioning Bens toughness, as he has his life to think about, but I WOULD question why he practiced all week if he was getting headaches, because that put his team in a bad spot….

  47. Flying elvis says: Nov 30, 2009 11:34 AM

    I do not think a more accurate description of what hines Ward does could be written.

  48. Bigbluefan says: Nov 30, 2009 12:01 PM

    Who give a crap what the players think
    I know Rooney was for our president did he follow his lead and make the stealers a socialist team where everyone has a say.
    Ward should shut the F up and catch the damn ball from who ever the coach has under center
    If that does not work for him the leave the team who care what the hell the players think
    Who knows if they have the abiltiy to think

  49. texasPHINSfan says: Nov 30, 2009 12:16 PM

    basically hines ward is using child mentality of lying to those in positions of authority to get what you want.
    if you have concussion symptoms, you’re not “tough” to ignore them and lie to doctors – you’re just stupid.
    so essentially ward is stupid for calling out ben roethlisberger for doing the right thing.

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