It appears Ben Roethlisberger will not play Sunday when his Pittsburgh Steelers host the New England Patriots at Heinz Field.
Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower certainly isn’t complaining about that.
Asked Monday on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” whether he’d mind playing the Steelers without their starting quarterback, Hightower gave an honest response.
“I would not,” he said. “Hey, best shot and all that stuff, but I want to win. Whatever we can do to get that edge. Not having (Roethlisberger) would be a pretty big edge. I am sure he will try and get out there.”
It’s logical that Hightower would rather face a Steelers team that had backup Landry Jones under center than one with Roethlisberger, who reportedly will undergo surgery this week to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
Though Roethlisberger is just 3-5 in eight regular-season meetings with the Patriots, he’s been highly productive in those games, throwing for 2,281 yards and 17 touchdowns with just six interceptions. Those yardage and touchdown marks both are his highest against any non-division opponent.
The Patriots improved to 5-1 on the season by beating the Cincinnati Bengals 35-17 on Sunday, while the Steelers fell to 4-2 following a 30-15 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images