Roethlisberger Believes Gilbert Unintentionally Used A Banned Substance

Immediately after it was reported on Monday that Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert had been suspended for the next four games for violating the league’s PED policy, the starting offensive lineman released a short statement on Twitter that included him apologizing to his teammates, coaches and the entire Steelers family for him inadvertently taking a banned substance.

On Tuesday, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger talked about Gilbert’s suspension during his weekly interview on 93.7 The Fan and indicated he believes the right tackle didn’t willingly take something that could potentially result in him getting suspended.

“I honestly don’t believe, other than the fact, and he understands it, that we have to know and understand what we put in our bodies and you can’t always take their word and I know he said that he asked the person and that they said that there was 100 percent no chance it was going to be an issue,” Roethlisberger said. “So, it’s tough. Like I said, I don’t want to speak for him and all those things, but I believe him when he tells me he did not intentionally do anything to harm this team or his body.”

Regardless of whether or not Gilbert intentionally or unintentionally took something that led to him being suspended for the next four games, Roethlisberger indicated Tuesday that the tackle needs to learn from his recent mistake moving forward into his career.

“I told him, and he knows that we can’t always take the word of a doctor or a nutritionist, or things like that,” Roethlisberger said, who also admitted on Tuesday that he’s known for maybe a week or two that there was a chance Gilbert might be suspended.

Roethlisberger also said that most of the players who knew Gilbert was likely to be suspended pretty much all agreed that the tackle shouldn’t appeal it should it ultimately happen due to the fact that he wasn’t likely to win it and thus in doing so it would likely only delay the inevitable.

“Let’s get this thing over with so he can get back to us, because it’s going to take time to kind of get back into it after being gone for four weeks,” Roethlisberger said on the matter of Gilbert not appealing his suspension.

In the end, Roethlisberger still knows that losing Gilbert for another four games isn’t ideal.

“Yeah it stinks,” Roethlisberger said.

Roethlisberger also said Tuesday that while the team certainly does trust that backup Chris Hubbard can continue to properly fill Gilbert’s shoes just as he’s done most of the season, not having the team’s regular starter on the line for the next four games will still affect the offense some just the same.

“You hate to lose a guy like that for four games,” Roethlisberger said. “[We have] faith and belief in Hub [Hubbard]. I mean, he’s played a lot this year with the hamstring that Gil’s had, so we know that he’ll step up to the challenge and be ready to go and he accepts that challenge to really not let there be a drop-off. But when you’re missing a guy like that, it hurts us in terms of some of the extra stuff we do. You know, when Hubbard’s kind of our extra tight end, we can do some things.”

Hubbard has started five games in place of an injured Gilbert so far this season in addition to taking over for him in two other games. Now, Hubbard will start the next four and that means guard B.J. Finney will have to back to being the extra tight end.

“So, our depth is hurt and some of the offensive stuff that we like to do is hurt a little bit as well,” Roethlisberger said.

  • will

    Go Hub!!

  • 太阳三联

    Hub and Finney as the Xtra = successful run day for Bell.

  • Sam Clonch

    Would help if Vance was back too. I wouldn’t mind see a little more Nix either.

  • Wil Masisak

    I cannot believe that they couldn’t get his suspension to start in time for him to return for NE game. It’s literally more important than the Titans game or any other game of the second half of the season.

  • 太阳三联

    For sure. Vance has the second gear to get a block then proceed down the field.

  • Jones

    Silver lining is that he misses the easy part of the schedule (minus NE) & is fresh for the playoffs.

  • WB Tarleton

    It’s up to when he was caught and the league notified the team. Other than delaying via an appeal, you do not get to choose when a player is suspended.

  • WB Tarleton

    Of course, Ben has to stand up for his lineman.

    That said, Gilbert either knew it or was stupid. A professional athlete should not put ANYTHING into his body without getting it approved by training staff. CYA.

  • Wil Masisak

    Ben says in the article that he knew “for a few weeks”. My guess is: if you know, you could accept it and start earlier than if you do due diligence.

  • CP72

    Ben’s never had a problem calling a guy out. I think what he’s saying is he knows Gilbert is a good guy and if Gilbert said it was an accident Ben is going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    If Gilbert was a knucklehead I don’t know that Ben would have said what he said.

  • WB Tarleton

    He knew there was a positive test. They do not suspend right away. They split samples, and send the other out for more testing, etc.

  • Delboka

    These idiots should know what they are taking.

  • John Pennington

    Gilbert been in the league long enough to know to watch out and know whats he taking.You have to be smarter and get a second opinion but never take anything that might put him in this position.If he didnt know what he was taking maybe he should have ask someone or check to see if it was ok to take what ever he took.Maybe all players should get a updated list of banned meds every 6 months in case something is added to the list.

  • pittfan

    You are right about consulting with team staff. That would be most prudent under these circumstances.