The Steelers are not just battling the New England Patriots this week; they’re also dealing with a bout of the stomach flu.
Tight end Ladarius Green missed practice Thursday because of it, and he was not alone. Five others couldn’t suit up either.
Over the last two days, as many as 15 players have been dealing with the illness.
But head coach Mike Tomlin isn’t using it as an excuse.
“We’re not making excuses; there won’t be. We’ll be there, we’ll be ready to play. This is just part of the normal things that happen over the course of a season,” said Tomlin.
Le’Veon Bell also missed the practice Thursday, but for personal reasons.
Meanwhile, the offensive line was intact during the practice session, and that was a good thing.
When you look at the Steelers’ offensive success in their current nine game win streak, they have been the jumper cable that gets the car moving.
Nobody appreciates that more than quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
“Feels good. I think it’s because of how well the line’s played, by far the fewest sacks I’ve ever taken in a year,” said Roethlisberger. “I think we ended up number two in the league in least sacks, and that just speaks for those guys and their determination and how good they want to be and how great they really are.”
The offensive line has a lot to do with the Steelers’ defense getting better, too. When you don’t have to be on the field as much, it makes doing your job easier.