Roethlisberger injury would be critical blow

The Steelers have dealt with injuries throughout the first quarter of this season, but they would be seriously be tested if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is sidelined.

He injured his left foot on the second-to-last series at Houston and left the locker room wearing a walking boot, according to the Associated Press. Another report says Roethlisberger boarded the team charter on crutches. Roethlisberger had an X-ray after the game, but he said he didn't know the results. An MRI is likely Monday.

The Steelers went 3-1 to start last season when Roethlisberger served a four-game suspension. But this would be a devastating blow now because the circumstances are different. This is a Pittsburgh team that is dealing with three new starters on the offensive line and a hamstring injury to running back Rashard Mendenhall, who left Sunday's game and didn't return.

It would be difficult for Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon to carry the Steelers without a stable offensive line and proven running back. If Roethlisberger is sidelined, Dixon might be the better choice because of his mobility.

Roethlisberger was sacked a season-high five times and was hurried countless other times. He also was hit below the knee for the second time in three weeks, but he never left the game. During the Steelers' final drive, Roethlisberger moved with a noticeable limp.