How are you feeling?
|Fine, thank you.
How is the shoulder?
It’s doing okay. Getting better.
Is there any chance you’re going to play Sunday?
Yeah, there’s always a chance. We’ll go out and re-evaluate it again today and see how it feels after today.
Is pain the biggest issue right now?
I can play through a lot of pain. That is a little bit of it but mostly it’s just, to me, ability. Can I make a long throw? Can I put a lot of zip on the ball, throw it really hard before people like Ed Reed and defenders can get to the ball? Because if I can’t, then I’m not putting this team in the best situation to win the game.
Has the recovery process been what the doctors expected or quicker than they expected?
I don’t know. That’s probably a question for them. I’m just doing everything I can to get back. The training staff and doctors have been great. I’m just working to get back out there.
Have the doctors told you that you are safe from any type of damage to your heart?
This game we play, I don’t think you’re ever completely safe. According to them, it’s stable on the backside, which I think is posterior. Obviously, you can take a big hit and anything can happen. But from what I understand, that aspect of it is okay.
How was it throwing the ball yesterday? How far could you get it down the field? How much zip?
That was yesterday so we’ll see what today holds. I’m not 100% but we’re going to get as close as we can.
How much confidence does this team have in QB Charlie Batch?
A lot. I firmly believe that. They know what he’s capable of. He’s been doing it a long time. They respect him. I think he’s ready to rise to the occasion.
Re: Batch saying he was disappointed with his performance in Cleveland:
I think he holds himself to a high standard, like we all do. For him to say he was disappointed doesn’t surprise me because I know he wants to go out and play a great game and he expects himself to do that. I expect a big bounce-back game from him if it’s that time.
Will you have to wear any extra protection around your injured areas?
We’ve juiced up the shoulder pads a little bit and the trainers and equipment staff have put some protective padding and Kevlar stuff on the shoulder pads to help.
What about more protection for the ribs?
I always wear rib protectors that are low. Nothing to change there. Most of it’s just up higher in the shoulder pads.
How tough is it to evaluate your injury when you really want to be able to play?
I think that’s always something that as a player, and me in particular I have to evaluate when I’m injured, I want to be out there no matter what but not at the risk of hurting the team, if that makes sense. I don’t want to go out there and play so bad just to be out there and hurt the team and us not be good. It’s tough. It’s hard for me. You watched me during these games. I’ve been on the field more than most of the coaches because I’m just antsy to get out there. We’ll evaluate it and ultimately it will come down to coach’s decision.
Where are you in terms of pain compared to this point last week?
I’m better. I’m a lot better. I’m sleeping in the bed. I can only sleep in certain positions in bed but at least I’m in bed. It’s gotten better. To know that you’re just dealing with pain is something I can deal with. I can deal with pain.
It sounds like you being able to play is more based on your arm strength rather than a chance of being re-injured. Is that right?
Well, it’s a lot of things. What I’m going to evaluate today and in the next couple days is where am I. What throws can I make? What can’t I make? So, we go look at it heavy today.
Is part of the evaluation considering that one more week of rest might be better for the last four games?
Yeah, you could look at it that way. We’ve had people talk about last year in San Francisco. If I would have rested maybe I would have been better off the last couple games and stuff like that. To me, I live for the here and now and I’m going to do everything I can to be out there. If it doesn’t work, I’ll do everything I can to be out there next week.
Do you buy that an extra week last year would have helped you get healthier for the last few games of the season?
I don’t know. It could be. It could not be. Maybe I wouldn’t have healed up. Maybe I would have. I don’t know. I’m going to make sure I’m ready to go so I can help this team the best I can.
When do you start pushing yourself?
I’m going to do everything I can. I did some stuff yesterday and we’ll do some more today and tomorrow and every day.
Is there just a lack of arm strength or is there also pain when you throw?
Is the pain scar tissue tearing?
I don’t know. Sorry.
Is there more motivation to play this week since it’s Baltimore?
To me it doesn’t matter who it is, but it’s a divisional game. That gives you motivation. It’s Baltimore. So, yeah of course, there’s a little bit more in that.
Do you feel that if you won last week and the team was 7-4 there wouldn’t be as much of a need for you to try and play this week?
Well we want to win every game, so we’ll see what happens. These are all kind of crazy questions for me. Sorry.
Great. Thank you.
So, even with a newborn you are able to get some sleep?
I’m getting a little bit of rest, yes. [Laughs]
Are you able to help out with the baby?
I’m helping out as much as I can.
Have the doctors made any suggestions to you about coming back?
No. I just think they’re telling me the same thing that I think I’m telling you. If I’m wrong, I’m sure they’ll let you know. What I understand is it’s an evaluation. How do you feel pain-wise? What can you do and what can’t you do? What are you able to do? Like I said, can I throw the ball 30 yards, 40 yards or 50 yards? I think it’s just an evaluation thing by everybody.
How much input do you have in deciding if you can play, even if it is the doctors and coaches who may be making the final decision?
I hope I have a lot. I’m going to be honest with coach and I think he trusts me to be honest with him. I’m not going to go out there and tell him I feel great if I don’t. I think a lot of it is going to depend on that as well.
Re: The first week of being a father:
It’s pretty cool. You can tell people about it, but it’s something special.
What arm are you holding the baby with?
I can hold him both ways. Not as long in the right but I can hold him both ways.
Tags: Ben Roethlisberger
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