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Ben Roethlisberger on Mark Barron’s hit: ‘I don’t think it was dirty’

While Ben Roethlisberger’s comments about the hit by St. Louis Rams safety Mark Barron probably stand in stark contrast to fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the quarterback on Tuesday nevertheless said he doesn’t believe the play that knocked him out for the next four to six weeks due to an MCL sprain in his left knee involved a cheap shot.

NFL Media’s Aditi Kinkhabwala tweeted that Roethlisberger stated, “I don’t think it was dirty,” when discussing Barron going low on him during a third quarter play that also reportedly resulted in a bone bruise along with the knee sprain.

Kinkhabwala also reports via Twitter that Roethlisberger indicated he’s “a little sore” and that he viewed the news that it wasn’t a torn MCL as “a relief,” although he remains frustrated by the injury.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ray Fittipaldo added via Twitter that the quarterback added while the sprained MCL must heal for stability, the bone bruise is more of a pain tolerance issue.

It’s of course unclear to what extent Roethlisberger elected not to decry Barron’s hit was impacted by how Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on Monday stated he wasn’t “going to be critical of the hit or of officiating” in light of a league memo issued last week that stressed comments of that nature would not be tolerated.

Regardless of the actual opinions held by both Roethlisberger and Tomlin regarding the hit, what’s done is done and little can be accomplished by suggesting Barron had any ill intent on the play. The best thing the Steelers can do is move forward, attempt to tread water the best they can with Michael Vick under center and hope that Big Ben’s legendary toughness plays a significant role in him getting back on the field sooner rather than later.