Mike Tomlin: Blame me for play call that led to Ben Roethlisberger's injury
The Steelers' franchise QB suffered an injury while still in the game during a blowout win
For reasons that defied explanation, Ben Roethlisberger was still in the game midway through the fourth quarter of Sunday's wild-card matchup with the Dolphins -- even though the Steelers were leading 30-12.
It got weirder: Someone called a pass play, which meant that Roethlisberger dropped back to pass. But because the intended target -- rookie Demarcus Ayers -- ran the wrong route, Big Ben held the ball too long before eventually taking an unnecessary hit. He tossed an interception for good measure. The interception proved meaningless, but Roethlisberger hurt his ankle on the play and showed up to his postgame press conference wearing a walking boot.
He announced at the time that he was fine, and has since reiterated as much -- it aggravated a previous injury, Roethlisberger explained, and he expects to be on the field when the Steelers meet the Chiefs in the AFC divisional playoffs this Sunday.
But before you get the torch and pitchforks out for offensive coordinator Todd Haley for endangering the franchise quarterback, coach Mike Tomlin would like to say something.
"I got a little over-aggressive there," Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly press conference. "It goes beyond taking the responsibility. I made the call. So don't ask Todd [Haley] about it on Thursday. I made the call."
Tomlin had already taken Le'Veon Bell out of the game, but left Roethlisberger in because the Steelers' run game is predicated on Big Ben making checks at the line of scrimmage.
"We had every intention of working to close the game out with DeAngelo [Williams]."
Except for the ill-advised decision to throw a pass.
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