Mike Tomlin changes his explanation of why Ben Roethlisberger didn't come back in the game vs. Raiders

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost a game to the Oakland Raiders in embarrassing fashion on Sunday. Pittsburgh blew two different fourth-quarter leads and that was pretty terrible, but perhaps the biggest story of the game was that the Steelers played the entire second half without Ben Roethlisberger until reinserting him with five minutes left in the game. 

Roethlisberger suffered a rib injury near the end of the first half, but Mike Tomlin explained his decision to stick with Josh Dobbs for the majority of the second half thusly on Sunday: 

"He got looked at at halftime. He got treatment, he came back out. We were waiting to see if he was gonna be able to come back in. He was. He probably could've come in a series or so sooner, but we were in the rhythm and flow of the game. He was ready to go when he got back out there."

Nobody was entirely clear on what on earth that means, but it doesn't really matter anyway because Tomlin changed his explanation on Tuesday. 

That is much different than being "in the rhythm and flow of the game," as Tomlin previously said. For his part, Roethlisberger stated that he told Tomlin that he was back on the field, but he was unsure at the time if going back into the game would help or hurt the team. 

This is all pretty strange, but it also doesn't matter all that much. What matters is that the Steelers have now lost three-straight games and are no longer a guarantee to win the AFC North or make the playoffs. They need to get things together quickly. And they'll need Roethlisberger on the field to do it. 

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CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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