Tuesday, October 19, 2021

NFL news: Steelers’ Roethlisberger out for Week 4 with broken finger; QB who says he was ‘physical’ with WR calls him a ‘grind’

By Sweeny Murti, for NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

We’re now back in October, and that means we’re once again dealing with things happening way in advance of Week 4. Here are a few NFL notes we’ve received in the past few days:

* Pittsburgh Steelers starter Ben Roethlisberger was diagnosed with a broken left index finger Tuesday, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, and he won’t play Sunday against the Houston Texans. The team also announced that backup Mason Rudolph would start Sunday. Fearing Roethlisberger’s injury could be season-ending, Antonio Brown is being evaluated for a left calf strain, the team announced Tuesday. That’s coming on the heels of Martavis Bryant’s knee strain. And Roethlisberger also hurt his ankle in the season opener in Cleveland. This wasn’t great timing for Pittsburgh, which has suffered from several injuries. It’s also tough to think about Big Ben being injured any time soon, considering the nature of his injury. Meanwhile, he’s missed only four regular-season games with injury over the last 10 years.

* One thing Steelers fans can take solace in for Sunday is that Roethlisberger has completed 71 percent of his passes in his eight-season career against the Texans, going 74-77 with 13 touchdowns against four interceptions for a 99.1 passer rating. Two of those games came when he had a broken leg, though. So barring a long-term injury, the Steelers likely have a better chance of winning Sunday with Rudolph starting.

* Jets’ rookie wide receiver Sam Darnold’s praise of former teammate Michael Crabtree and his physical nature didn’t sit well with Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan. “I guess (wide receiver) Sam Darnold called Crabtree a physical guy?” Jordan said Monday night. “Wow. That takes some backbone. Crabtree is physical. Crabtree is . . . Crabtree is physical. He’s the real deal.” Jordan didn’t expand on what he meant.

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