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article imageFour Concussions in Four Years for Steelers' Roethlisberger

By Michael Bearak     Nov 27, 2009 in Sports
Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers is coming off his fourth concussion in four years. This is an unusually high number of concussions for an NFL player. Nevertheless he is planning on playing against the Ravens on Sunday.
ESPN is reporting that the Steeler's quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger has gone through a normal week of practice in preparation for the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday. Still, four concussions is abnormally high for any NFL player and raises some concern, but not for Roethlisberger who was quoted as saying, "It's part of the nature of the beast of playing this game." The two time winning Super Bowl quarterback is in the midst of one his personal best seasons even though the Steelers have struggled at times through out the season.
Roethlisberger's last concussion came last Sunday in a loss to the Cleveland Browns when his head hit the knee of Brown's linebacker Derrick Johnson. More concerning though is that is his second concussion in less than 12 months.
This is concerning as a University of North Carolina study conducted on retired pro football players noted that players who suffered 3 or more concussions throughout their career were more likely to have cognitive impairments by the age of 50. Still, the 27 year old quarterback isn't concerned as he gets ready to take to the field because of a policy that the Steelers have in place concerning players returning after a concussion. The Pittsburgh Steelers require that a player pass a "post-concussion" exam in order to be cleared to play. Roethlisberger went on to say, "I'm not worried because we have the best doctors."
There is still reason to be concerned, since 2004 Roethlisberger leads the league in being sacked at 221 and with the exception of one player, Mark Bulger of the St. Louis Rams, no other player is within 47 sacks. Not quite an honor you want to write home about. Already this season Big Ben has been sacked 29 times.
The Steelers and Roethlisberger are feeling some heat as they are one game behind the Cincinnati Bangals in the AFC North, but by way of the tie-breaker the Steelers are actually two games behind them. So there is some pressure there for Big Ben to suit up and take the field.
It is important to note that while Ben Roethlisberger has suffered four concussions in the last four years, only three have come as a result of playing. Ben's first concussion came when he wrecked his motor cycle 2006.
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