Late in Sunday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told the team's medical staff that he was having some concussion-like symptoms, which meant that he was in the league's concussion protocol. And, with the Steelers playing next week against the Colts on Sunday Night Football, that called his availability for that game into question.
Today, it has been hard to figure out what exactly is going on, so let's look at it and try to provide some clarity. This morning, Roethlisberger went on his weekly radio show in Pittsburgh shortly after undergoing an IMPACT test for a possible concussion, and he said on the show that he had "aced" the concussion test and was no longer in the protocol, meaning he'd be able to practice Wednesday. Shortly after that, however, head coach Mike Tomlin held his normal press conference and revealed that Roethlisberger did indeed suffer a concussion and is in the concussion protocol.
Basically, it sounds like Roethlisberger thought he was fine and thus said he "aced" the test before getting the results back. The results, however, showed that he had a concussion. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the "Steelers do not know yet whether he will be able to play Sunday night vs. Indianapolis."
It's a confusing situation, but it's now clear where the confusion came from, as Roethlisberger's guess that he didn't have a concussion came before the results came back. The bottom line through all of this is that Roethlisberger does have a concussion, will be in the league's concussion protocol, and is uncertain for Sunday night's game against the Colts.
With the concussion protocol, it's often hard to project how long a player will be out, as it's a clearly laid out process that allows the player to return whenever he clears it. Different people react differently to concussions, however, which makes it a hard injury to predict. The Steelers will listen to their doctors as Roethlisberger goes through the protocol and that will determine his status for Sunday's game.
There's still several days to go before then, so it's in a wait and see mode right now on whether the star quarterback will be able to play against the Colts, but if not it would be Landry Jones starting against the Colts (and Matt Hasselbeck, another backup) in a big conference game to begin December for both teams who are looking to make a playoff push.