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Are Ravens Disappointed Ben Roethlisberger Is Out?

Posted Nov 17, 2012

Quarterback Joe Flacco says that you want to beat teams at their best to avoid excuses.


When the Ravens heard that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was ruled out for Sunday’s game, the reactions were mixed.

Terrell Suggs was skeptical Roethlisberger would actually miss the game. Some players said that it didn’t change anything with the preparation. Others said they wished he was playing.

The news brought up a popular question from the media on Wednesday: Do the Ravens wish they were going up against the Steelers with Roethlisberger in the lineup?

“I wouldn’t say you are necessarily disappointed when you find out those guys aren’t playing,” quarterback Joe Flacco said. “At the same time, you do want to go out there, and you want to beat what you believe is a very good opponent when they are at their best so you can say that you’re better than them, and they don’t have any excuses.”

Defensive lineman Terrence Cody had a similar response.

“We do want them at their best so we don’t hear, ‘Oh we didn’t have this guy, this guy wasn’t at his finest, all that stuff,” Cody said.

The reality is that neither team is at their “best” because they have both dealt with significant injuries.

The Ravens are without linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb. Defensive linemen Haloti Ngata and Pernell McPhee are banged up and starting cornerback Jimmy Smith is nursing a groin injury.

In addition to Roethlisberger’s injury, the Steelers are likely to be without safety Troy Polamalu because of a lingering calf strain. Running back Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles), wide receiver Antonio Brown (ankle) and safety Ryan Clark (concussion) are also all in danger of missing Sunday’s game.

Both teams are banged up, and Head Coach John Harbaugh didn’t want make a big deal out of the injuries. 

“We don’t really concern ourselves with injuries,” Harbaugh said. “We haven’t concerned ourselves with our own team’s injuries. Why are we going to concern ourselves with somebody else’s injuries? Our focus is going to be on the team that we are going to play – it always is – and playing as well as we can play.”

Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin took a similar approach.

“We don’t concern ourselves with the injured ones; we concern ourselves with the readiness and the play of the healthy ones,” Tomlin said on a conference call with the Baltimore media. “The guys that have been healthy have delivered above the line of performance for us, and we expect that to continue.”

Few teams in the NFL have the luxury of being a healthy group at this point of the season, and moving on without star players is just part of the game for most teams.

“This is a tough league, and sometimes things happen to guys that don’t allow them to get out there on Sunday.” Flacco said. “That’s just the way it is, and we can’t really put too much thought into that. We just have to go out there and play the game. A win is not going to be any different to us just because a couple of their guys aren’t playing."

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