UPDATE (10:15 p.m. ET): Ben Roethlisberger has a torn MCL and is expected to miss six weeks, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
Original story: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had to be carted off the field after suffering a gruesome knee injury in Sunday’s road win over the St. Louis Rams.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the two-time Super Bowl champion could miss four weeks, but that depends on what the MRI shows.
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The Steelers are 2-1, but losing Roethlisberger for any amount of time is a huge blow. He’s one of the five best quarterbacks in the NFL, and he entered Week 3 with 720 passing yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
Pittsburgh has only four days to prepare for a tough divisional matchup against the rival Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night. The Ravens will be highly motivated after an 0-3 start. Following that game, the Steelers play the San Diego Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals. That’s not an easy stretch.
From a fantasy football perspective, Big Ben’s injury will impact a few Steelers players. Antonio Bryant is the most reliable fantasy receiver in the league, but his production likely will decline without Roethlisberger. That said, he’s still a WR1 in PPR leagues for the time being and will be the No. 1 target for backup Michael Vick.
Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell should continue to be a productive player in Roethlisberger’s absence, but his receptions and receiving yards probably will go down. Bell ranked second among all running backs in receptions last season, and his ability to make an impact in the passing game made him highly sought in PPR leagues. Bell still tallied 132 total yards and a rushing touchdown with Roethlisberger not playing the full 60 minutes in Week 3.
Pittsburgh tight end Heath Miller caught just two passes against the Rams, giving him 10 receptions for 99 yards through three games. He’s a flex play at best without Roethlisberger.
Darrius Heyward-Bey should not be started at receiver in leagues with 12 or fewer teams.
Vick replaced Roethlisberger and completed five of six passes for 38 yards. He’s worth a pickup off the waiver wire in deep leagues that start two quarterbacks each week.
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