The announcement by Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin this afternoon that wide receiver Hines Ward may not play Thursday night because of a strained hamstring, sent an “oh crap” feeling through my head. Not because I do not think we necessarily need Ward to beat the Browns (or maybe we do), but more from the standpoint that the media will be turning around his comments to Bob Costas about Ben Roethlisberger back on him. The timing could not come at a worse time and one would wonder if there was a bit of karma that reared it\’s ugly head.
Now do not get me wrong, as I mentioned right after it happened, I understand the frustration Ward had when he was told Roethlisberger was going to sit out the Ravens game. I also understand he did not know it was a doctor\’s decision that he should sit before he gave the interview. I also understand that Tomlin did not handle it well in telling the team. Regardless the comments Ward made were insensitive and unwarranted.
Trust me when I say that Ward is one of my all time favorite Steelers. How can you not love his emotion and hard nose play? He will not be judged 20 years from now because of his remarks about players playing with concussions, he will be judged by his play on the field. All of that said, he better be doing a ton of thinking about things he will say in the future as he lies in his hyperbaric chamber. Especially what he will say to the media if he misses the Browns game. The hyperbaric chamber can help in a lot of ways, but it can not protect Ward from media scrutiny and karma.