Thursday, October 18, 2012

Exclusive Interview With Ben's Ankle As We Debunk Roethlisberger/Haley Fued

"Ben's ankle has local media all aTwitter. Breaking News! Does anybody REALLY think it keeps him out of Sunday's game at Cincy? Me neither." - Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola on Twitter)

Ben Roethlisberger injured his right ankle Thursday and left practice early. He claimed to be fine afterward, but was later seen with it wrapped and was walking with a slight limp. According to Ben, he stepped on someone's foot and "rolled my ankle a lil bit."

But, Steel City Insider columnist Jim Wexell said: "I watched Roethlisberger drop back. His plant foot slipped. No other player around him. He fell, limped a little bit, left 30 mins later.

So, while it's obvious that Big Ben turned his right ankle and that it was wrapped later on, how did it actually happen. Did he step on someone? Did someone step on his foot? Did someone not replace a divot?

To get the full story, I had to virtually break into the training facility. Once inside, I was able to get a few minutes with Big Ben's ankle before leaving the South Side.

If It Ain't Steel: Thanks for giving me a few minutes. I know you'd like to get off of your...well, relax as soon as you can. What should I call you? "Big Ben's Ankle?" "Thing 1?" "Little Ben?"

Thing 1: Ahh! I like the Dr. Seuss reference! Let's go with that, because people might misunderstand "little Ben", if you know what I mean.

IIAS: Ok, then. "Thing 1" it is. So, to start off, how are you feeling right now?

Thing 1: Other than feeling like Kobe Bryant just broke me when driving to the hoop, I guess I'm a'ight.

IIAS: *chuckles* That's right, you and Ben used to play point guard. I would've thought you'd have said 'LeBron James' instead since he's from Akron and played for Clev...

Thing 1: If you mention that name again this interview is over.

IIAS: Understood. Sorry. Well, let's get to the actual injury: what happened out there?

Thing 1: Well, when the big guy dropped back, I thought it was understood that it was a 5-step, but he tried to set Thing 2 and I after three. I took the worst of it. I'm big enough to admit I screamed. It hurt!

IIAS: So, no one stepped on you?

Thing 1: Admittedly, I thought Marcus Gilbert had. I mean, who hasn't he hurt, right? I started callin' him "Suggs" for a minute there. Ironic in a way, huh? Me calling Gilbert that. Ya know, because of Suggs' injur...never mind. It didn't go over well with him either. Anyway...then I remembered that he wasn't on the field because of his own injury. So, I realized that I just buckled because of trying to take the extra steps when the big guy wanted to stop. Just got attacked by the Turf Monster, I guess.

IIAS: Ok. So, Jim Wexell was correct. You didn't roll over anyone, just kind of got shuffled.

Thing 1: Yeah, unfortunately.

IIAS: Let me address something else while I have you here. Thursday, Ian Rapoport stated fairly openly that the relationship between Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and Big Ben here is bad. His exact words were that it's "not great." Any thoughts on that?

Thing 1: What?! Are you serious? That's ridiculous. Where did you hear that?

IIAS: He wrote it in his NFL blog.

Thing 1: Who was his source? Bruce Arians?! Let me see it.

IIAS: I have the link. it is. David Todd of ESPN tweeted it. Personally, I think it is much ado about nothing myself, but I had to ask. Here you go:

Thing 1: Ian Rapoport? Really? Did he "report" that we tore an ACL too? Ridiculous.

Look, I admit that he and the big guy may not be passing love notes in class, but this is going overboard. Ask those close to the situation, I mean besides me. I think Mark Kaboly has even written that he hasn't seen any friction between the two. Not a noogie, not an eye gauge, not even an "Oh! Wise guy, eh? Nyuck-nyuck!" Not even one round-the-world snap from either diva. This is blown out of proportion.

Hey, we have to get out of here, but I'll finish by saying that, if Ben practices Friday, he'll play Sunday. Pretty much that simple. But if he's sore enough to stay off of me as a precaution, I may not have as much mobility come Sunday.

IIAS: Ok, got it. Appreciate your time. I'll be looking for both of you tomorrow.


The low down on Big Ben's ankle: