Tomlin: I won't be critical of hit that injured Big Ben


Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged Monday that Ben Roethlisberger will "be out for a number of weeks" after suffering a sprained MCL in Sunday's win over the St. Louis Rams.

Every game, all season

Roethlisberger suffered the injury on an unusual play. Rams safety Mark Barron lost his balance while charging in on a blitz, stumbling several yards before crashing to the turf near Roethlisberger's feet. Barron's shoulder collided with Roethlisberger's left leg, leading to the injury.

No flag was thrown for the low hit. Tomlin wouldn't address if he believed Baron's tackle was clean.

"I'm not going to be critical of the hit or officiating," Tomlin said. "You guys know we got a letter stressing us not to do that."

The tackle could be interpreted as illegal according to the NFL rulebook. From ESPN: "A rushing defender is prohibited from forcibly hitting in the knee area or below a passer who has one or both feet on the ground, even if the initial contact is above the knee. It is not a foul if the defender is blocked (or fouled) into the passer and has no opportunity to avoid him."

Barron's explanation: "I tripped over somebody's feet and on my way down I caught a piece of his leg."

Finally, a reminder that this could have been much worse. If Barron connected at a slightly different angle, Roethlisberger's season is over and Barron would have taken his place in the stars with Kimo Von Oelhoffen and Bernard Pollard. Everybody dodged a bullet.