Last week it was Tony Romo, Drew Brees and Jay Cutler. Sunday Ben Roethlisberger of Pittsburgh became the latest National Football League quarterback to join the injured.
Big Ben left the Steelers’ 12-6 win over the Rams in St. Louis with a left knee injury after he was sacked by Mark Barron in the third quarter. Roethlisberger’s leg got caught under him awkwardly on a sliding sack.
According to an ESPN report, he has a sprained MCL and a bone bruise but no tear. He is expected to be out at least four weeks.
It puts a crimp in the Steelers’ playoff hopes. Pittsburgh is 2-1, trailing Cincinnati (3-0) in the AFC North.
Michael Vick replaced Roethlisberger in the Steelers’ lineup and completed 5 of 6 passes for 38 yards.
Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans and Chicago were the winless teams that slipped to 0-3 on Sunday, decreasing the odds of them getting into postseason contention, and San Francisco looked dismal in a 47-7 rout at Arizona.
A capsule look at Sunday’s Week Three games:
Steelers 12, Rams 6
The scoop: Roethlisberger’s injury cast a cloud over Pittsburgh’s playoff chances. The Steelers scored the game’s only touchdown, a 1-yard run by Le’Veon Bell with 13:00 left in the first half. Roethlisberger was 20 of 24 for 192 yards before he was injured. Antonio Brown caught 11 passes for 108 yards for the Steelers. The Rams had five sacks.
Why the Steelers won: Will Allen’s interception with 2:51 stopped the Rams’ bid to take the lead and set up an insurance field goal by Josh Scobee for a 12-6 Pittsburgh lead.
Broncos 24, Lions 12
The scoop: Peyton Manning threw touchdown passes to Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Owen Daniels and Brandon McManus kicked a 48-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for Denver (3-0). The Lions got as close as 14-12 before McManus hit his field goal and after a Detroit turnover, Manning hit Daniels from 11 yards to put it out of reach.
Why the Broncos won: They limited the Lions to 28 yards rushing.
Bengals 28, Ravens 24
The scoop: After falling behind with 3:56 left on Steve Smith Sr.’s second touchdown catch of the game, the Bengals traveled 80 yards in six plays for the game winner on a 7-yard pass from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green with 2:10 left to go back in front.
Why the Bengals won: Ravens produced no points in five first-half possessions and fell behind 14-0. It was an uphill fight the rest of the way.
Panthers 27, Saints 22
The scoop: Carolina rallied from an 10-0 deficit as Cam Newton threw two touchdown passes to Greg Olsen and ran 13 yards for what proved to be the winning points in the fourth quarter. Olsen caught eight passes for 134 yards.
Why the Panthers won: The Saints turned the ball over on two of their four possessions in the second half while Carolina scored in three straight series to take the lead.
Falcons 39, Cowboys 28
The scoop: Atlanta came back from a 21-7 first-half deficit as Devonta Freeman ran for three scores including the go-ahead score from 7 yards with 11:25 left. Matt Ryan tacked on an insurance tally with a 2-yard pass to Julio Jones with 3:04 left.
Why the Falcons won: Without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, Dallas had no second half offense. They had no points and only four first downs in four series while Ryan led Atlanta to TDs on three straight possessions.
Cardinals 47, 49ers 7
The scoop: Interception returns for touchdowns by Justin Bethel and Tyrann Mathieu in the first quarter got Arizona off to a fast start as the Niners suffered one of their most one-sided losses in recent memory. Chris Johnson ran for two Arizona touchdowns. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who usually gives the Cardinals fits, was intercepted four times and sacked twice. He was 9 for 19 for only 67 yards.
Why the Cardinals won: They limited the Niners to 156 yards in offense and 10 first downs while rolling up 446.
Texans 19, Buccaneers 9
The scoop: Houston erased a 9-7 deficit with 12 second-half points on a 20-yard touchdown run by Alfred Blue and two Randy Bullock field goals. Blue finished with 139 yards in 31 carries.
Why the Texans won: Kyle Brindza of the Bucs kicked a 58-yard field goal but missed from 41, 33 and 57 as Tampa Bay was shutout after halftime. Brindza also missed an extra point when it was 9-7 in the second.
Vikings 31, Chargers 14
The scoop: Minnesota never trailed after Blair Walsh kicked a 24-yard field goal in the first quarter. Adrian Peterson carried 20 times for 126 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Vikings. A 91-yard interception return by linebacker Chad Greenway made it 31-7 early in the fourth and capped off the Vikings victory.
Why the Vikings won: San Diego had two long TD drives but they came against the Vikings’ prevent defense late in the first half and in the final minute of the game.
Seahawks 26, Bears 0
The scoop: The return of safety Kam Chancellor must have meant a lot to the Seahawks even though he was in on only one tackle in the rout. With Jay Cutler out, backup Jimmy Clausen was able to produce only 63 passing yards on 9 completions in 17 attempts for the winless Bears. Clausen was sacked twice for minus 15 yards. Rookie Tyler Lockett returned the second half kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown for a 13-0 lead. Marshawn Lynch carried only five times for 14 yards for Seattle before leaving the game. Thomas Rawls, a rookie from Central Michigan, carried 16 times for 104 yards for Seattle.
Why the Seahawks won: Although their offense produced only one touchdown and four field goals, they held Chicago to three-and-out in six of 10 possessions.
Colts 35, Titans 33
The scoop: Andrew Luck brought Indianapolis back from a 27-14 deficit, directing the Colts to touchdowns on three straight possessions in the fourth quarter. That included scoring passes to rookie Phillip Dorsett and Donte Moncrief before Frank Gore ran 6 yards with 2:51 left. Luck completed 18 of 30 with two interceptions. Rookie Marcus Mariota of the Titans was 27 for 44 for 267 yards with three sacks and two interceptions.
Why the Colts won: Dwight Lowery had two interceptions for the Colts, the first he returned 69 yards to make it 14-0 in the second quarter. The second set up a one-play drive, an 11-yard touchdown pass to Moncrief, that put Indy in front, 28-27 with 5:53 left.
Raiders 28, Browns 24
The scoop: Derek Carr threw two first-half touchdown passes to help Oakland to a 20-3 lead. Carr completed 20 of 32 for 314 yards overall. Oakland scored only one second-half touchdown, a 6-yard run by Latavius Murray early in the fourth quarter but that proved to be the difference in the end.
Why the Raiders won: The Browns were forced out of their running game early and gained only 39 on the ground with a 2.8 average.
Eagles 24, Jets 17
The scoop: It was 24-0 before the Jets could get out of their own way. The Eagles made it 10-0 on an 89-yard punt return by Darren Sproles with 12:21 left in the first half. Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for both Jets touchdowns, but was intercepted three times in the second half when New York was attempting to come back. Philadelphia found its running game with Ryan Mathews carrying 25 times for 108 yards.
Why the Eagles won: Philadelphia was shut down by the Jets in the second half (only five first downs and five three-and-out series) but the damage was done by then.
Dog of the day
Patriots 51, Jaguars 17
The scoop: Tom Brady completed 33 of 42 for 358 yards and two touchdowns and LeGarrette Blount ran for three touchdowns on short runs in the second half as New England smothered the Jaguars. Brady joined the NFL’s 400-TD pass club. Julian Edelman caught eight passes for 85 yards, most of them in the first half. Ex-Bills linebacker Paul Posluszny of the Jaguars had a busy day, with 18 tackles, 14 primary hits.
Why the Patriots won: The Patriots never punted. They scored on 10 straight possessions. The only time they didn’t score was at the end of the game when they ran out the final 1:22.
News wire services contributed to this report.