A painful Sunday led to a sobering Monday for some of the NFL’s biggest names, and nowhere was the news more sobering than in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers learned starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will miss the remainder of the season.
While the team did not disclose the exact nature of the injury, coach Mike Tomlin said through a statement that an MRI exam on Roethlisberger’s right elbow Sunday night revealed an injury that would require surgery — a surgery which will happen this week and end the quarterback’s season.
Roethlisberger left the game against the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter, grabbing his right elbow after a throw. The Steelers lost 28-26 at home and are 0-2 to start the season for only the second time in Roethlisberger’s 16-year career.
Mason Rudolph entered the game and completed 12 of 19 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns. He will now start in Roethlisberger’s place.
—The other major quarterback injury was to New Orleans’ Drew Brees, who sustained an injury to a thumb ligament when his hand was hit by Los Angeles defensive tackle Aaron Donald as he threw a pass.
The NFL Network reported Monday that Brees will undergo surgery to repair the ligament in his right thumb and could miss six weeks, but Saints coach Sean Payton said on a conference call later in the day that Brees was seeking a second opinion and the Saints had no news to report on his status.
Teddy Bridgewater replaced Brees and will start this weekend in Seattle. He was 17 of 30 for 165 yards in the 27-9 loss.
In other injury news ...
—Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian sustained an ankle injury and exited the field midway through the second quarter of New York’s Monday night game against the Cleveland Browns. Third-stringer Luke Falk took his place. .... Steelers starting running back James Conner told 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh that he was confident he would play next Sunday in San Francisco after injuring his knee against Seattle.
—Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup reportedly needs arthroscopic surgery to trim the meniscus in his left knee and will miss 2-4 weeks. ... Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee sustained a chest injury that resulted in his coughing up blood in a hospital, Rams coach Sean McVay confirmed to reporters. McVay said Higbee has a lung contusion and is day to day.
—Los Angeles Chargers safety Adrian Phillips will go on injured reserve and be lost for a “significant amount of time” because of a broken right forearm, coach Anthony Lynn said. ... Kansas City running back LeSean McCoy was reportedly set to undergo an MRI exam on his ankle after suffering an injury late in a 28-10 win in Oakland.
—Philadelphia defensive tackle Tim Jernigan reportedly suffered a foot injury, with NFL Network saying the injury could cost him “roughly a month” while Pro Football Talk said the foot is broken and Jernigan could be out for the year. ... New England Patriots left tackle Isaiah Wynn will reportedly have an MRI exam for a toe injury suffered after playing just 11 snaps.
As for players looking to find new teams ...
—The Miami Dolphins traded disgruntled defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 2020 first-round draft pick, multiple media outlets reported. That would give the Dolphins three first-round picks in the 2020 draft, adding to their own and the one they acquired from the Houston Texans in the trade involving tackle Laremy Tunsil in late August.
—The agent for Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey has asked the Jaguars to trade him, multiple outlets reported. The request comes after the 2017 All-Pro got into a sideline argument with coach Doug Marrone during a 13-12 loss at Houston.
—Disgruntled Dallas defensive end Taco Charlton — a 2017 first-round pick — tweeted “Free me” to the Cowboys, a day after he was a healthy scratch for the second straight game.
Around the league ...
—The attorney for Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown denied a new claim of sexual misconduct against his client that surfaced in a Sports Illustrated report. The story also includes accusations of a charity auction theft, multiple domestic incidents and a number of unpaid debts. ... New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur did not commit to Eli Manning as his starting quarterback for Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with rookie first-round pick Daniel Jones waiting in the wings.
—Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith planned to play Monday night, just five days after his girlfriend Petara Cordero was killed on a highway in Cleveland. ... Indianapolis coach Frank Reich is sticking with kicker Adam Vinatieri, despite the 46-year-old kicker missing five total kicks in two games.
—Field Level Media