Wednesday's Morning Mashup: Ben Roethlisberger downplays head issue, but Steelers keep him in concussion protocol

December 02, 2015 - 3:08 am

Welcome to Wednesday's Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire. WEDNESDAY'S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: NHL: Bruins at Oilers, 9:30 p.m. (NESN) NHL: Rangers at Islanders, 8 p.m. (NBCSN) NBA: Pelicans at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBATV) NBA: Pacers at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV) College basketball: Penn State at Boston College, 7:15 p.m. (ESPNU; WEEI-AM) College basketball: Butler at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (CBSSN) College basketball: Louisville at Michigan State, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN) College basketball: Wisconsin at Syracuse, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN2) College basketball: Arizona State at Creighton, 9 p.m. (CBSSN) College basketball: Florida State at Iowa, 9:15 p.m. (ESPNU) College basketball: Indiana at Duke, 9:15 p.m. (ESPN) College basketball: Notre Dame at Illinois, 9:15 p.m. (ESPN2) College basketball: Gonzaga at Washington State, 11 p.m. (FS1) AROUND THE WEB: [caption id="attachment_37432" align="alignright" width="150"] Ben Roethlisberger[/caption] -- Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is trying to downplay his head issue, but coach Mike Tomlin apparently isn't buying it, saying the QB will remain under the NFL-mandated concussion protocol this week. "We will do what we always do with those guys," Tomlin said Tuesday. "We will be very diligent about their care. We will lean on the expert advice of our medical team, who always does a great job. We will do what is appropriate at the end of the week, or whenever that decision-making time is." Roethlisberger said earlier in the day that he had a "traumatic ocular migraine" that forced him out of Sunday's loss to the Seahawks in the fourth quarter, and that it cleared up after about 30 minutes. Responded Tomlin: "I'm no doctor, and I'm not going to try to get into that. I give him credit for taking a bite out of that and trying to maybe explain the circumstance. I'm going to leave that up to the experts. What I will say is he has sustained what is described as a concussion, and he is in the protocol." Roethlisberger said he expects to practice Wednesday in preparation for Sunday night's game against the Colts, but Tomlin wasn't so sure. "Even if they feel better they are going to remain in the protocol," Tomlin said, referring to Roethlisberger and linebacker Ryan Shazier. "We are going to do our due diligence under the guidelines that have been prescribed in recent years." Meanwhile, the league and the NFLPA reportedly are looking into why Roethlisberger was not removed from the field when he was injured on a roughing-the-passer penalty. Roethlisberger stayed on the ground for a few seconds before being helped to his feet by his teammates, then remained in the game to complete the scoring drive -- nine more plays -- before self-reporting his head issue. The independent trainer serving as a spotter apparently never requested Roethlisberger be checked. "It's great that he self-reported," an anonymous union official told ESPN, "but that's the not the process we all signed up for." -- Warriors interim coach Luke Walton was named Western Conference Coach of the Month, even though technically he has not won a single game. Because Steve Kerr still is considered the team's coach, Kerr gets credits for all of Walton's wins despite being sidelined following back surgery. Walton doesn't seem to mind, as he continued to give credit to Kerr for the system he's put in place. "Steve's done a lot for me," Walton said. "It's the least I can do to add a couple wins on his total for him with all he's done for me." The players, however, recognize what the second-year assistant has accomplished in guiding the team to an NBA-record 19-0 start. "He's been amazing," forward Draymond Green said. "He's still Luke. That's what has been special about it. He hasn't changed the way he acts. He hasn't changed anything. Obviously, he says a little more in the game coaching and calling the plays. He does all that stuff. It's just incredible how he's adjusted to that role." -- The NFL apparently had its first arrest-free month in six-plus years, as no arrests of active players were reported in November. It initially was reported that September ended the streak, but in early October it was revealed that Titans rookie Dorial Green-Beckham had been arrested Sept. 30 for an unpaid speeding ticket. At least four former players -- including recently released Cowboys running back Joseph Randle -- were arrested last month, and Rams receiver Stedman Bailey was shot in the head, but the last reported arrest came Oct. 15, when Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman was nabbed for an alleged hit-and-run. The 47-day streak (through Tuesday) is the longest arrest-free streak for the league since a 63-day run in the summer of 2004. ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 2, 1961, goaltender Gerry Cheevers played his first NHL game, but it wasn't for the Bruins. With which team did Cheevers start his Hall of Fame career? QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I am thankful that it is nothing serious. I love playing the game of football. Whenever it is taken away from you, you definitely get a feeling that you appreciate the game so much. I'm just week-to-week. I'll be working hard to get back out on the field as soon as possible. When I am 100 percent, feeling good, cleared by all the doctors, the team, that is when I will be back. There's no timetable for that." -- Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, on his knee injury STAT OF THE DAY: $217 million -- Reported value of the seven-year deal the Red Sox agreed to with pitcher David Price 'NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Philadelphia fans welcome local high school product Kobe Bryant for the final time -- then watch as the 76ers end their record-long skid by beating the Lakers. The Kings beat the Canucks in overtime as Jeff Carter steals the puck and sets up Anze Kopitar for a one-timer. Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin scores a wrap-around goal against the Sharks. Alabama-bound kicker Eddy Pineiro kicks a 77-yard field goal in practice. An Oklahoma State basketball manager hits a halfcourt shot using a towel to launch the ball. TRIVIA ANSWER: The Maple Leafs SOOTHING SOUNDS: Britney Spears was born on this day in 1981.