Big Ben hurts head in overtime loss to Steelers

Teams never assume victory before they play the game (or at least they shouldn’t), but the Steelers must have felt great heading to Kansas City this weekend. After all, the Chiefs have struggled offensively all season and their top playmaker, Dwayne Bowe, was suspended four games earlier in the week.

But not only did Pittsburgh suffer defeat on Sunday, but they’re key offensive player also suffered an injury.

Ben Roethlisberger suffered a head injury in overtime of the Steelers’ 27-24 loss to the Chiefs in Week 11. Big Ben caught a knee to the head on a diving scramble and lay on the ground for several minutes before walking off under his own power. He finished 32-of-42 for 398 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Roethlisberger shredded Kansas City’s secondary the entire game, but three turnovers and one big play by Chiefs’ wideout Chris Chambers (four catches, 119 yards) doomed the Steelers in the end. Chambers’ 61-yard reception in overtime set up Ryan Syccop’s 22-yard game-winning field goal.

This loss hurts the Steelers on many levels. Not only did they suffer defeat in a game everyone assumed that they would win, but once the Bengals beat the Raiders in Oakland later today, Pittsburgh will also essentially fall three games back in the AFC North. It’s never easy to fly cross-country and play on the road just one week after suffering a tough divisional loss. But this was a game Pittsburgh needed to win.

It’ll be interesting to see if Big Ben misses any time. He’s a tough player, so one would assume that he’ll play next week but head injuries are always a little trickier to deal with.

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Chiefs’ Dwayne Bowe suspended for four games

According to a report by the Kansas City Star, Chiefs wideout Dwayne Bowe has been suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

League spokesman Corry Rush announced the suspension in an e-mail, and the Chiefs have acknowledged Bowe’s suspension.
In a news release, the Chiefs said Bowe’s suspension will begin immediately.

“As a result of the league suspension, the team will have no further comment,” the Chiefs’ news release said.

The league’s list of banned substances is so long and extensive that Bowe could have taken anything. Some sports fans like to assume that when the league suspends a player it’s because that player took steroids. But that’s usually not the case and actually, it seems like most players are suspended for some kind of weight-loss supplement.

Either way, Bowe is responsible for putting the supplement in his body without first making sure that it wasn’t a banned substance. Teams keep track of what players are taking at all times, including cough medicine and headache medication. Bowe should have known better and unfortunately whatever it is he took will cost him four games.

2009 has not been kind to first-year head coach Todd Haley. Not only is his team heading for a losing season, but he was also publicly criticized by Larry Johnson via Twitter and he just lost his best offensive weapon for four games.

What a bad way to kick off the start of your first year as a head coach.

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Fantasy Football Quick-Hitters: Bowe, Julius, Hightower, Benson and Ronnie

Dwayne Bowe suspended for four games. Apparently, he violated the league’s substance abuse policy. Believe it or not, this makes Chris Chambers a viable fantasy option as the Chiefs don’t have much else going for them at WR. Lance Long may see more targets as well.

HC Mora admits that Julius Jones is “unlikely” to play in Week 11. This isn’t surprising considering that Jones was hospitalized on Sunday. Justin Forsett will get the start in a bad matchup with the Vikings. But from Week 12 on, Seattle’s schedule is pretty nice, so Forsett could potentially be a nice second-half pickup if Jones misses extended time. I wonder if the Seahawks are regretting letting Edgerrin James go.

Tim Hightower is still the Cardinals’ starter. This is going to be an interesting situation to watch down the stretch. The Cardinals have series of great rushing matchups, so will Hightower be as involved as Arizona tries to milk the clock? He seems to shine when Arizona is in catch up mode.

Cedric Benson may be a game-time decision against Oakland. The Raiders are terrible against the run, so whoever starts (Benson or Bernard Scott) should be a great start in Week 11. The team has already stated that the Larry Johnson signing has nothing to do with Benson’s injury, but the timing makes this hard to believe.

Ricky Williams will be the Dolphins’ every-down back with Ronnie Brown out. Brown apparently has two injuries — one to his ankle and one to his foot — and beat writer Omar Kelly says there’s a possibility that Brown will see a specialist. Williams’s value was already pretty high, but now it’s through the roof. Start him with confidence.

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