Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC North [Print without images]

Friday, November 30, 2012
Poll results: Should Big Ben play?

By Jamison Hensley

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger shouldn't play at the Ravens on Sunday.

That's according to 63 percent in this week's SportsNation poll (7,881 votes) who feel Roethlisberger should sit out Sunday's grudge match. Roethlisberger is three weeks removed from dislocating a rib and spraining his right shoulder.

Here are some selected comments from readers:

Judy from Millersville, Md.: I don't think Big Ben should play, and this is strictly as a humanitarian and not as a Ravens' fan (which I am). Last year, he played with a high ankle sprain against the 49ers and the Steelers lost miserably, with Rothlesberger himself commenting that he was "the best 49er on the field" that night. If he played at half-capacity, he'd probably do the team a better service than Charlie Batch, but he'd just put himself in harms way. Better to take the long view and heal up.

Ray from Catonsville: As a Ravens fan, I will be at the game and I want to see Ben play. Having Ben play just adds to the high intensity a Ravens-Steelers game can have.

Agape from Latvia: The last time the Steelers played the Ravens, Byron Leftwich entered the game with healthy ribs and left with broken ribs. What might the Ravens do to a quarterback who enters the game with broken ribs?

Lynn from Belpre, Ohio: The Steelers most definitely should NOT play Big Ben against the Ravens on Sunday. I realize that without him, they will most likely lose the game and the division title. But if they would play him, they might lose Ben for the remainder of the season. We all know how much he wants to play, but he's just not healed yet, and the Ravens are the last team that he should be facing when he's not going to be 100 percent.

Matthew from Arlington, Va.: Ben is an "old school" type of player. I'm talking back when players played to win and not just for their next contract. This is a man's game, and only men should play it. Men play if they can. Too many players these days sit out because of a cold, hurt finger or even a headcahe. Man up! I know Ben will.

Boris from Guam: I think the Steelers should rest Big Ben this week. The AFC North is lost. Get Ben healthy and ready for the last four games. A 10-6 record should get us in the playoffs.

Dennis from Stuart, Fla.: If Ben is healthy enough to play, meaning he feels he can go and is cleared medically, then he should play. The Steelers are still in the hunt for a wild card spot. Otherwise he should sit.

Craig from New York: I do not understand playing Big Ben this week. I understand how you want to go for the playoffs this year, while you have a shot. However look at how last year despite being not fully recovered he played and exasperated his injury. Furtheremore this is your franchise quarterback, who injured his shoulder and ribs. Do you really want to risk that in a season when you know you will not go deep in to the playoffs (even if you maybe make it there). Yes, the Ravens do not have the same defense, but they step it up in a rivalry. And they definitely know how to play physical.

Greg from Ravenna, Ohio: The Steelers should definitely keep Big Ben out of the game this Sunday against the Ravens in Baltimore. While it might very well result in a loss and a drop to 6-6 in their record, it would ensure another week of recovery and an even healthier Roethlisberger for the four game end-of-season run. Pittsburgh has three of those games at home with only one away. The Steelers could put together a 3-1 or even 4-0 run to make the playoffs. I would think that a 10-6 or even 9-7 record would be enough to snag the second wild card spot.

Tyson from Newark, Ohio: Let's hope they learned something from last year and don't play him. Ben needs at least one more week of rest. Even with him, going into Baltimore will be a tough game to win. Also, being three games back, they are not going to win the division. They need to accept that as well as the fact that they are a wild card team. The only threat to their wild card hopes is the Bengals and we get them again at home. The Chargers are two games behind and we get them at home too. Dolphins won't finish strong. Sit Ben, get him healthy for the last four games and playoffs and we will still be very dangerous in the post season.