Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will undergo tests this week to determine whether or not he should play this weekend after suffering a head injury in Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs. While the team says his status is “still up in the air,” Pittsburgh-born neurologist and die-hard Steelers fan Dr. Elliot Beamon said Roethlisberger should “definitely” play.
“Oh yes, absolutely I think Ben should play,” Beamon said in an interview with FOX Sports radio. “I saw the injury and it didn’t look that bad. Just a little bonk on the head. Nothing to be alarmed about. Roll him out there and let the chips fall where they may. Believe me, if they lose to the Ravens, they’ll have a lot more to worry about than Ben’s long term mental health.”
Beamon cautioned against overreacting to head injuries, saying it should be up to the player to determine whether or not he can play.
“I appreciate the league’s new focus on head injuries, but let’s not overreact here,” Beamon said. “If we benched every player that got knocked in the head we wouldn’t even have games on Sunday. That’s why I think the player should be able to decide whether or not to play. Either that or the season-ticket holders. Then the doctors.”
The doctor dismissed claims that he is biased and insisted that his prognosis is rooted in decades of experience dealing with brain traumas.
“Biased? I take great exception to that,” Beamon said. “I took the Hippocratic Oath. I don’t mess around with people’s lives and health. I simply feel that Ben is healthy enough to play and should play. What’s that? No, I haven’t examined him myself. I just have a lot of experience with this kind of thing, and I’m telling you, put the bastard in there and have him drill a fastball right into Ray Lewis’ groin to show that jerk how we do it here in Pittsburgh. Then we'll see who's hurting.”
According to the team, there may be good news on the horizon for Dr. Beamon and his fellow season ticket holders: preliminary tests indicate Roethlisberger has no concussion symptoms and should be able to play on Sunday.
Said coach Mike Tomlin: “He looks good. He feels good. Right now we’re cautiously optimistic. We’re going to wait, though, just to make sure. No game is more important than a player’s brain, except for possibly the Super Bowl and/or conference championship game and/or a game like this one that could potentially lead to an opportunity to play for a conference championship or Super Bowl. After all, brains last 70 or 80 years, championships are forever.”