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Big Ben: Steelers practices could be reason for injuries

The Pittsburgh Steelers earned a reputation this summer for running some of the league's most physical practices under coach Mike Tomlin.

Could that be at the root of a handful of injuries the team has suffered over the first five weeks of the season? Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger believes it's a possibility.

"We have a lot of injuries," Roethlisberger told 93.7 The Fan on Tuesday, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I think a lot of our stuff stems from we're one of the most physical football teams in training camp, in practice, you know. We do more hitting than most teams do and more (practices in) pads."

The Steelers have dealt with plenty of setbacks, with linebacker Ryan Shazier (knee), receiver Markus Wheaton (shoulder), offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle), guard Ramon Foster (chest), safety Robert Golden (hamstring), fullback Roosevelt Nix (back) and receiver Eli Rogers (toe), among others, all missing time. The team has also ruled out defensive end Cameron Heyward (hamstring) for Sunday's showdown with the Dolphins.

Big Ben noted the contrast between Pittsburgh's summertime practice habits and sessions run by the Lions, who the Steelers scrimmaged against during training camp.

"They hadn't even gone a day in pads and we had already done like two weeks," Roethlisberger said. "We're talking to their players how physical our practices are. I think sometimes it takes a toll on some guys, you know, hamstrings and quads and guys reinjuring things."

Interesting comments by Roethlisberger, but Lions fans will note that Detroit's roster has been blasted by injuries, too, with first-string runner Ameer Abdullah and star pass-rusher Ezekiel Ansah among a bushel of players missing time.

"I think we'll get guys back," Roethlisberger said. "Guys step up. ... That's what we do. We've always done that here in Pittsburgh -- (it's the) next man up-type mentality and be the best we can be."

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