Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger denied that hitting his hand against the helmet of Saints linebacker Curtis Lofton affected his throwing during Pittsburgh's 35-32 loss to New Orleans, Mark Kaboly of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported on Sunday.
Roethlisberger's throwing hand hit Lofton's helmet on a pass play in the first quarter. The play ended with a 21-yard completion to Antonio Brown, but Roethlisberger showed signs of discomfort afterwards. He handed off on the next five plays.
Before he threw on the first quarter's final play, Roethlisberger stepped to the sideline and threw a pass to backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski.
"I am sure every quarterback has that happen every game," Roethlisberger said. "Does it hurt? Yeah. Did it affect my throwing? No."
Roethlisberger, who has completed 66.7 percent of his passes this season for 3,705 yards and 26 touchdowns, finished the game with 435 passing yards and two touchdowns, but allowed two interceptions.
New Orleans took a 21-6 lead into halftime and held a 35-16 advantage late into the fourth quarter.
Pittsburgh's loss moves the team's record to 7-5, placing it in a three-way tie for second in the AFC North with the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns. The Steelers travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals, who lead the division at 8-3, on Dec. 7 at 1 pm E.T.