It’s a common theme in Pittsburgh, at least in recent years. The starting quarterback expresses concern about an injury, and the head coach disagrees.
It first happened after the 2004 AFC title game, when then-rookie Ben Roethlisberger said he played with two broken toes. Then-coach Bill Cowher said that the more accurate number was zero.
And so it’s no surprise that, on the same day Roethlisberger generated headlines by saying he suffered a setback to his sprained ankle on Sunday against the Browns in Cleveland, coach Mike Tomlin downplayed the situation.
Told that Roethlisberger puts his ankle at a five on the always-reliable one-to-10 scale, Tomlin said, “I’m not worried about how he feels right now. Hopefully, he’s not a ‘five’ on Sunday. I doubt he will be.”
Though Tomlin could simply be doing what NFL coaches ordinarily do — i.e., telling something other than the truth about injured players — it’s impossible to ignore the possibility that Ben is simply milking this one for all it’s worth, notwithstanding the fact that he impressed everyone by playing with the injury last month against the Browns in Pittsburgh, and by trying to play with the injury against the 49ers in Pittsburgh’s next game.