Roethlisberger unlikely to play Saturday against Rams

When the Steelers take the field on Christmas Eve, it looks like the will be without their starting QB. Pro Football Talk and Jason LaCanfora are both saying that Ben Roethlisberger will not play this week and his status for Week 17 remains unclear as well. 

In all likelihood, the Steelers are going to be the 5th seed in the AFC after their blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night. The team should be able to handle the Rams and Browns without Roethlisberger, but I don’t think it’s a guaranteed 2-0 finish to the regular season without number 7. The Steelers haven’t exactly handled ‘easy’ competition well this year.

Charlie Batch will be the starter on Saturday night if Roethlisberger is out. Like everybody else, I love Batch as a person, but if you put a gun to my head and asked me who I’d trust to win these next two games, my answer would be Dennis Dixon.

The Steelers struggles in pass protection and inability to consistently run the ball don’t bode well for Batch, who might be the least mobile quarterback to play in the league this year. The Steelers will really miss Byron Leftwich, who is very similar to Roethlisberger in his style.

The pressure now falls on the running game and the defense to do the job the last two weeks.