Monday October 3rd, 2011

Ben Roethlisberger has taken 14 sacks in four games. (

Ben Roethlisberger took another beating in the Steelers' 17-10 loss to the Texans Sunday, courtesy of Houston's persistent pass rush and Pittsburgh's struggling offensive line. The worst of it for the Steelers QB came late in the fourth quarter, when Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was called for roughing the passer as he dove into Roethlisberger's left knee.

Roethlisberger actually threw a pick-six on the play, which came with the Steelers on their own 1 and trailing 17-10, but Watt's penalty gave Pittsburgh the ball back with 51 seconds remaining. The Steelers' last-gasp drive ended four plays later when a hobbled Roethlisberger tossed an interception on a deep ball.

After the game, Roethlisberger was reportedly in a walking boot and on crutches. The Steelers did not immediately announce what his exact injury was.

Pittsburgh is in no position to lose Roethlisberger for any extended period of time. The Steelers dropped to 2-2 with Sunday's loss in Houston and, aside from a Week 2 rout of the hapless Seahawks, have looked incredibly average so far this season.

Roethlisberger's been part of the problem, with nine turnovers in four games, but he's mostly been undone by a complete lack of protection.

Pittsburgh hosts 3-1 Tennessee next week, then Jacksonville in Week 6. The Steelers' expected backup QB for this season, Byron Leftwich, broke his arm during the preseason and was placed on injured reserve. Veteran Charlie Batch would likely start in Roethlisberger's place, if Big Ben's injury lingers.

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