Sportress of Blogitude

Is Ben Roethlisberger upset with Mike Tomlin over concussion talk?


Ben Roethlisberger has passed the NFL’s concussion protocol and is cleared to practice with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday. But perhaps even more interesting is how the quarterback appeared perturbed by how Mike Tomlin characterized his injury situation.

“I took the test this morning,” Roethlisberger said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, via Pro Football Talk. “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.”

The hullabaloo began when Roethlisberger, while making his weekly radio appearance Tuesday, said he “aced” a concussion test. Tomlin a short time later said he did in fact have a concussion, leading Roethlisberger to make a seemingly sarcastic comment over how Tomlin characterized things.

This was preceded by Roethlisberger insisting he really didn’t have a concussion at all — only issues with his peripheral vision that was deemed a traumatic ocular migraine.

What it essentially boils down to is Roethlisberger didn’t appreciate how Tomlin contradicted his comments in the media.

“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,” he 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.”

The fact that Roethlisberger self-reported his symptoms — not to mention his comments afterward about the importance of players taking concussion symptoms seriously — makes the organizational disconnect such a curious occurrence.