When Steelers receiver Hines Ward awkwardly called out quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for missing Sunday night’s game with a concussion, most league observers assumed that any fallout would be confined to the Pittsburgh locker room.
On the same day that Ward said he has apologized to Roethlisberger, Vikings offensive lineman Anthony Herrera, who missed Sunday’s game against the Bears with a concussion, took issue with Ward’s attitude on the subject.
“Hines is being selfish,” Herrera told Alex Marvez and Marty Schottenheimer of Sirius NFL Radio on Tuesday. “Honestly and truly, in our locker room no one questioned my toughness or whether I could play or not. They knew it was a concussion and it was bigger than just football.
“That’s why you see all these [ex-players] right now at 50 years old who are suffering from all kinds of different things. They put football ahead of themselves. That’s now how it should be. . . .
“Everyone knows Ben is a tough guy. Look how many hits he takes, the way he plays. You can’t challenge a man and say that about a guy who has proven the type of player he is.”
Ward did. And now Ward has spent the past two days trying to mend fences.
But it remains to be seen whether Ward and any of his teammates will view Roethlisberger differently as a result of his absence from what turned out to be a close loss to the Ravens, or whether the league, in its revolutionary effort to protect a player from himself, simultaneously has come up with a way to protect the player from the other 52 guys on the team.