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Lucky Roethlisberger: Let’s be Thankful for his health

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LUCKY ROETHLISBERGER

Do you consider yourself a glass half empty, or glass half full kind of person?

The ultimate litmus test could be answering this question about Ben Roethlisberger’s injury history: Do you consider him lucky or unlucky?

It looks like Ben Roethlisberger is going to be plenty healthy to start Sunday in Seattle. And for some, the reaction is: “Finally! It’s about time. The guy’s missed the better part of five games already because he keeps getting hurt. Big Ben can’t catch a break! Almost every year it seems as if he gets some significant injury he has to overcome.”

But that’s thinking for you pessimists out there. True blue optimists like yours truly (*insert eye roll and throat clear here*) think of it completely the other way. I look at how Roethlisberger got hurt and the severity of injuries and I think to myself…This guy has a black and gold horse shoe up his backside!

If that were really the case, though, Ben would’ve likely missed two games at the proctologist. And that’s not just based on this year’s track record either.

Steeler fans are lucky Roethlisberger hasn’t been put on injured reserve twice already this season. If Mark Baron hits Roethlisberger’s knee just a bit harder or at a slighter different angle, maybe it’s the ACL that goes instead of the MCL. Maybe it’s both.

A little bit more of Aldon Smith falls on Roethlisberger, or his foot plants a bit more steeply, maybe that’s a full lisfranc fracture as was initially feared and not just a mid foot sprain. Ask Santonio Holmes and Duce Staley how harsher versions of those injuries pan out.

I know no one actually wants to look back at Roethlisberger’s injury history. It’s more gory than a Halloween teen slasher film. But to fully understand how fortunate Roethlisberger has been when it comes to his battle with health, one must look beyond the mere fact that the injuries occurred and look at how bad they may have been.

The Steelers won a Super Bowl in 2005. In just the 4th game of the season Roethlisberger’s knee (the same one that was hit by Baron this year in St. Louis) was bent backwards in an ugly looking injury. He was carted off the field and Steeler fans feared the worse. Ben came back after the next week. Thanks to a miracle from above, it was just hyperextended. The quarterback missed three games after that with surgery to the other knee. And the team won a Super Bowl anyway after he was excellent in the three AFC playoff games.

Two knee injuries to one QB in the same season and the team wins a title anyway? That’s not jinxed. That’s lucky as hell.

In 2006 he had an emergency appendectomy and at least two concussions during the season that he played through. He had another that only caused him to miss just one game in 2009.

How many other QB’s crack a thumb on their throwing hand and nearly break an ankle but just miss one contest and make the playoffs like Ben did in 2011. Then follow that up the next season by missing just three weeks when you had a rib injury bad enough that it resulted in (his words not mine) almost getting your “aorta punctured.”

Oh, and he got hit by a car and blew up his whole face. Did I forget that? Did I skip over the car thing? Yeah, he got hit by a car on motorcycle without a helmet. So there was that too.

Yes. It sucks that these things keep happening to Roethlisberger. You could drive yourself nuts thinking about how good he could be for how many more years if so much tread hadn’t come of the tires.

But he…and all of us Steeler fans…should also kiss our lucky rabbit’s foot that he hasn’t died during his Steeler tenure.

Twice. Maybe three times.

And that a Super Bowl didn’t get erased.

And “who knows what” here in 2015 now that he is (can I even write this) “fully healthy again.”

That is of course if he can stay upright through the holidays.

About The Author

Tim Benz

TIOPS Columnist

Tim Benz can be heard on the Pittsburgh Steelers Radio Network post game show and M-F 10-1 on TribLive Radio

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