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‘Don’t count me out:’ Despite being ruled out by Mike Tomlin, LB Elandon Roberts sends different message

It’s just a bodily injury.

If there’s one player who could be the real-life version of the knight from that Monty Python sketch, it could be Pittsburgh Steelers LB Elandon Roberts. No matter what injury he suffers, no matter how serious, Roberts somehow stays in the fight. When he suffered a groin injury in Week 13, barely able to leave the field, he returned four days later to play 46 snaps against the New England Patriots.

And when Roberts nearly had his arm torn from his body while attempting to make a tackle in Saturday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals, officially scarred with a pectoral injury, it looked like his season was over. So much so that during his Tuesday press conference, Mike Tomlin ruled him out of Sunday’s must-win game against the Seattle Seahawks.

The only person who didn’t believe this message? Elandon Roberts.

Speaking to reporters today, Roberts is apparently giving himself a chance to play, even if Tomlin doesn’t. According to PPG’s Brian Batko, Roberts told reporters “don’t count me out.”

And here’s the video of his response, via The Trib’s Chris Adamski.

Whether that relates to this weekend or Week 18 is unclear. Roberts was one of four Steelers who failed to practice Wednesday. But if there’s one guy who will defy the odds, it’s him. Technically, he is not ruled out in the team’s official report. Those designations won’t come until Friday afternoon, when the team releases its final injury report of the week.

Making five tackles in the roughly 20 minutes he played against the Bengals, Roberts has officially reached triple-digit scoring this season. This marks consecutive seasons where he has reached over 100 tackles, including 107 a year ago in Miami. Already without Cole Holcomb and Kwon Alexander for the season, the team pushed Roberts into a bigger role, and he responded with stellar play. Physical against the run, a tone setter as a tackler, leader and communicator, and solid under the coverage, he had settled into a permanent role.

After beating Cincinnati, Myles Jack jumped off the couch and entered the lineup, taking Roberts’ snaps and playing well the rest of the way. Wearing the green dot as a central communicator, he finished the game with six tackles and a sack, against Mykal Walker. If Roberts can’t go, Jack will get the start while Blake Martinez figures to be active and potentially play in base packages.

At the very least, Roberts’ injury doesn’t appear to be as serious as it initially appeared. Even if he can’t play in Week 17, it appears next weekend against the Baltimore Ravens is a possibility. Hopefully Pittsburgh can get the win and ensure that this game will mean something for Roberts to try to comeback.

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