Ben Roethlisberger has had his share of injuries this season, but the Pittsburgh quarterback says a concussion isn’t one of them.
“I didn’t have any symptoms -- no headaches, no nausea, no lack of appetite or sleep or anything like that,” Roethlisberger said on Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan on Tuesday, talking about the concussion test he took earlier that morning.
“I anticipate being fine and good to go tomorrow in practice,” he said.
Not long after Roethlisberger made those comments, however, Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin said in a news conference that his quarterback had been diagnosed with a concussion, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Tomlin said the same applied to Roethlisberger’s teammate Ryan Shazier.
“Right now, both guys are in [concussion] protocol and will remain in protocol, even if they feel better,” Tomlin said. “We will do what we always do – we will be diligent with our care and lean on the advice of our medical team.”
Roethlisberger self-reported concussion-like symptoms late in the Steelers’ 39-30 loss to Seattle on Sunday. Those symptoms were likely the result of a hit to the head by Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett. Though Roethlisberger was able to finish that drive, which resulted in a field goal, he told doctors on the sideline that he was having trouble with his peripheral vision.
He was not allowed to reenter the game.
“I was literally on the sideline probably for the first time maybe in my life thinking about my family and not going back into the game because I did not feel quite right,” Roethlisberger said. “It was definitely a moment, that’s why I was honest with the trainers and doctors and wanted to tell them exactly what I was going through.”
Roethlisberger missed four games this season with a sprained MCL and bone bruise. He has also played through a mid-foot sprain that was initially expected to keep him on the sideline for a week or two.
He said Tuesday that his vision problems Sunday have been related to a traumatic ocular migraine. Still, Roethlisberger said he does not regret pulling himself from the game.
“People know me, I’ll play through any injury. I’ve played through a lot of injuries,” he said. But the brain is not an injury that you want to play with and play through. I think more people need to understand that.”
Roethlisberger added: “You can have, when you’re done playing, knee replacements and hip replacements and all kinds of surgeries. There’s no brain replacement surgery. That brain is too valuable to mess with. I’m proud of myself and I think more guys should do it and not try to be tough guys when it comes to the brain.”