There will be a good bit of talk this week concerning the phantom cramp that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders suffered with about 6 minutes left in the game Sunday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.
It was obvious that the injury was faked so that the offense didn\'t have to burn a timeout following the sack of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had gotten up slow after the play.
While that will be the main talking point this week, make sure that you keep in mind that the Steelers were not granted a requested timeout prior to their two point conversion attempt following the Roethlisberger to Heath Miller touchdown pass late in the first half.
The Steelers had taken a timeout prior to that play being run and the Bengals also took one prior to the two point play being run. Roethlisberger tried to call yet another timeout immediately after the Bengals called theirs, but was denied.
The Steelers quarterback was asked after the game if there was confusion prior to that play being run and he laid out exactly what happened.
“Oh gosh yeah," said Roethlisberger. "There were some coaches in my headset calling timeout so I turned to the official to ask for timeout. He told me I couldn’t take one, so I thought we had to run the play. The whole time I was under center I heard Coach Haley screaming to take a timeout. What people don’t realize is that there isn’t a microphone in our helmets so I can’t talk back to them. I was trying to wave him off, but we couldn’t do anything. So I snapped the ball and threw it to Heath (Miller) and he made the play."
Roethlisberger was then asked if he had explained the situation to head coach Mike Tomlin following the successful conversion and he said that he did.
“I was trying to tell him about what the official told me," the Steelers signal caller said. "There was nothing else I could have done in the situation, so I just snapped the ball. All you can do is take a delay of game or snap the ball.”
Tomlin also talked about it after the game during his post game press conference.
"Yeah, we wanted to take a timeout," said Tomlin "We’re allowed to do that by rule. He said that we weren’t. I guess he assumed that we were the team that took the timeout, prior to us wanting to take a timeout. The Cincinnati Bengals took that timeout, so we should’ve been given that timeout, but we weren’t. The guys didn’t blink. They executed and got the two points.”
So while two wrongs do not make a right here, the officials might have turned their heads slightly when Sanders went down. I expected the media to ask for a pool report interview with referee Clete Blakeman following the game to ask about both of those situations, but apparently that didn\'t happen.
Will the Steelers face some sort of discipline for the deliberate action of Sanders? We shall see, but I will be interested to see if anything more is made out of the fact that the Steelers were denied a requested timeout as well.