22 Sep 2004
Some people gave the Steelers a legitimate chance of making the playoffs before Tommy Maddox was injured last week. Now their fate lies in the hands of rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger. The last rookie QB to start a game for the Steelers was Bubby Brister back in 1986 (ouch) replacing an injured Mark Malone (double ouch). The last rookie to start a playoff game in the NFL was Shaun King (he was 4-1 in the regular season) in 2000. Of course Roethlisberger doesn't have the same defense that King had, so who knows how successful he'll be. Either way, John Clayton makes the point that like Byron Leftwich, Roethlisberger may struggle because the majority of his college snaps were out of the shotgun.
Part II of our injury series: Do some injuries become more common later in the NFL season? And has the NFL succeeded in cutting down on concussions?