We are a little past the midway point of the NFL season and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now 6-4 after beating the Cleveland Browns. Ben Roethlisberger had to come off the bench to help carry the Steelers for the win. Yes… You read correctly Ben had to come off the bench to play. “Big” Ben was not even supposed to play last week after suffering an ankle injury against the Oakland Raiders. Landry Jones took all the first string snaps while Roethlisberger and Mike Vick was limited nursing injuries.
The Steelers started the season off with a major injury to their All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey during a pre-season game against the Green Bay Packers. The Steelers picked up free agent Cody Wallace who has been very solid while Pouncey recovers. Ryan Shazier is another player who has struggled to stay on the field. After a week two win over the San Francisco 49ers, he’s been in and out of the line up. The backups Sean Spencer and Vince Williams have done a great job filling the void. Running back Le’Veon Bell injured his right knee in the second quarter of the team’s Week 8 game vs. Cincinnati Bengals. In six games this season, Bell totaled 556 rushing yards on 113 carries with three touchdowns, along with 24 receptions for 136 yards. Although Bell is a big loss, DeAngelo Williams has been huge carrying the workload to balance out the run and pass game.
The quarterback position is one major area the Pittsburgh Steelers have been struggling with this season. This season, the Steelers have four quarterbacks that all have been injured. Bruce Gradkowski had surgery on a finger and on top of that a right shoulder injury which kept him on the sideline during pre-season. In week six, Michael Vick leaves the game with hamstring injury against the Arizona Cardinals in which has prevented him from coming back to play. Landry Jones is the latest with an ankle injury who came in lead the team against the Cleveland Browns. We also can not forget about the two-time Super Bowl Champion Big Ben who has been knocked out of two games this season. He was first knocked out against the St. Louis Rams with a MCL sprain and also against the Oakland Raiders with an ankle injury. When Big Ben is healthy and playing, the Steelers are (4-2) and (2-2) without him.
So heading into week 11, the Steelers are blessed with a much needed a bye week which will give them time to heal. Mike Vick and Maurkice Pouncey may be returning for week 12 game against the Seattle Seahawks. This week off will give Big Ben enough time to get healthier, although he passed for 379 yards and 3 touchdowns last week in backup duty. The league might be in trouble after one of the most dynamic offenses gets healthier. As long as they can stay healthy, the Steelers are getting ready for a strong playoff push.