Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will have have an MRI today on his left ankle, after suffering a grotesque injury Thursday night.
The injury didn’t keep him from limping back onto the field after having an X-ray in the locker room and single-leggedly leading the Steelers to a 14-3 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Still, the pain was excruciating even with the ankle heavily taped. (Watch video here.)
“I thought my leg was broken, honestly,” Roethlisberger said. “It's one of the most painful things I ever felt.”
At the time of his Willis Reedesque return, the Steelers were up only 7-3.
“I didn't want to let my guys down,”' he said. “It's a close ballgame, a tight race right now, an AFC opponent and we're up only 7-3.”
“The heart of a champion,” linebacker James Farrior said. “The man has a lot of guts, a lot of will. He’s the leader of our team and that's what they do, they do stuff like that.”
Roethlisberger left Heinz Field after the game with his leg in a boot. Luckily for him, the Steelers and backup Charlie Batch, he has 11 days in which to heal. The Steelers (10-3) don’t play again until Dec. 19, at San Francisco.
“I really couldn’t drop back to pass and really couldn’t step into my throws,” Roethlisberger said. “[The line] did such a phenomenal job of kind of keeping me clean. That was my intention of coming back. I wanted to be there for the guys and let them know I’m going to fight for them.”