Peter King of SI.com makes a point in his Monday Morning Quarterback column that reflects a sentiment that has been quietly spreading through the league: the Steelers need to have a plan at quarterback for 2010 in the event that Ben Roethlisberger isn’t available.
Though the key moment in this regard remains the ultimate decision on whether charges will be filed, the fact that the case already has created enough of a mess to keep Roethlisberger away from offseason workouts underscores the gravity of the situation. How serious is it? Says King, “I’ve been alarmed by some of the hearsay I’ve heard said about the Roethlisberger case.”
The most obvious fallback plan is Dennis Dixon, a one-time Heisman candidate who slid to round five due to a torn ACL and who performed well against the Ravens on short notice last season. Recently, we laid out the other options for the Steelers at SportingNews.com, which include a few surprising but not implausible names.
It would still be a major upset if Roethlisberger isn’t available when the 2010 season starts. But the fact that the situation is bad enough to keep him away from offseason workouts should be more than enough of a warning to prompt the Steelers to seriously regard the possibility that Ben could be away for other more important portions of the calendar — including part or all of the regular season.