Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told reporters earlier that he was cleared to practice today.
But he threw in enough comments along the way that make it seem as if he’s more than a little frustrated with the Steelers’ characterization of his situation.
He initially went on the radio Tuesday to say he didn’t have a concussion, but then coach Mike Tomlin circled back and said he did. That didn’t seem to sit well with Roethlisberger, after he self-reported symptoms and took himself out of last week’s game.
“I took the test this morning,” Roethlisberger said, via Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I was told I can practice. That’s all I know. I don’t know the results of the test, but I was told I can practice. Until coach Tomlin announces something different I’m preparing to practice.”
Roethlisberger thought he passed his Tuesday test, but hadn’t yet, leading to his initial proclamation he was OK.
“I said I didn’t know the results then, but I felt good because when I left the training room the trainers told me this looks good,” Roethlisberger said. “Don’t see why this would be an issue. That’s why I said I didn’t have a concussion and would be ready to go. He did say he’d have to check with a third party. Obviously, whether that’s coach Tomlin or another doctor, they said you’re not clear. Whether they’re covering rear ends or what’s going on. . . . I said OK I’ll take it [this] morning. I got the same thing from the trainers. They said, ’Ben it’s fine.’ You’re ready to practice. Until I hear otherwise I’m ready to practice.”
Roethlisberger again said he didn’t experience typical concussion symptoms, other than problems with his peripheral vision that went away shortly after the game ended. That’s why he said he was “confused” when Tomlin said he had one.
“They need to get together and tell their players what’s going on because I was just relaying what the doctors told me,” he said.
It’s easier for Roethlisberger to take himself out of a game than other players because of his financial and positional security. But standing up to his coach and the organization is clearly something only a guy with a big contract like Roethlisberger can pull off.