It's always tough to absorb an injury to a star quarterback. It's even tougher when the backup quarterback goes down. It was a task the Steelers were charged with managing, and they weren't quite up to the challenge, losing to the Cleveland Browns 20 to 14 in Cleveland.
The Browns were able to do exactly what they needed to do to win the game. They managed mistakes well, and they capitalized on just enough opportunities to pull out a win in a defensive dual.
For the Steelers, the loss hurts especially bad. The Colts won a tight game to put themselves ahead in the wildcard race by a full game, and the Bengals won, pulling even with the Steelers for the last playoff spot in the AFC.
Next week's matchup between the Steelers and the Ravens is also a tough sell for Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger wasn't expected to be ready to play the Ravens early on, but recent reports indicate there's an outside chance he cold be ready to play next weekend against Baltimore.
The Steelers have been given no favors by their backup quarterbacks, and it may force their hand in playing Roethlisberger next week. Either way, the Steelers' are getting desperate for a win, and the Ravens would like nothing more than to slam the playoff door on their arch-rival.