After tossing a touchdown to give Pittsburgh its first points against Dallas, Ben Roethlisbergerdeparted for the locker room just before halftime with an apparent knee injury.
The replay suggested a potentially concerning outcome for the 38-year-old, but after emerging from the tunnel and finishing out the Steelers’ eventual 24-19 victory over the Cowboys, Roethlisberger assured everyone after the game that all is well.
“No, I’ll be fine. Thank you for asking,” Roethlisberger said when asked if there’s any reason to be concerned about the knee moving forward.
The injury came during the Steelers’ second-to-last series of the first half. As the veteran quarterback stepped up in a collapsing pocket to deliver a pass, he took a shot from Cowboys defensive tackle Neville Gallimore and was sandwiched between the rookie DT and Demarcus Lawrence.
As both tumbled to the ground, Roethlisberger’s left knee bent awkwardly after Neville fell on top of it. He immediately appeared to be in discomfort and was seen hobbling into the huddle.
A Steelers timeout gave him a moment to rest and he would capitalize on the pause with four straight completions, including the 17-yard strike to James Washington in the end zone to make it a 13-6 deficit, before limping into the locker room with 1:10 remaining in the quarter. Mason Rudolph, who started the majority of last season when Big Ben was sidelined after Week 2, filled in to finish out the half.
Avoiding a serious injury is a sigh of relief for both Big Ben and the organization, but, in Roethlisberger’s eyes, escaping with a narrow victory for a second week in a row is a scenario worth being concerned about heading into the second half of the season.
“I joke, ‘I feel like I’m too old for this stuff,'” he said. “My body gets worn down and the emotional roller coaster that are these games the last couple weeks, but we keep winning and having fun with these guys. That’s all that matters. I just want to play and win for them.”