In the losing locker room, Ben Roethlisberger had an ice bag on each knee, a welt on his back and a bruise on his ego.
That was part of the toll Sunday from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 30-15 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Damage was still being assessed. The Steelers (4-2) retained a lead in the AFC North, but Roethlisberger was expected to undergo an MRI on his left knee, which had him limping to the locker room when he missed a series late in the first half.
“We’ll pray it’s nothing too serious,” he said.
While the Steelers’ recent momentum was halted, the Dolphins (2-4) revived their season with their most impressive performance by far under first-year coach Adam Gase.
“Today proved to a lot of our guys and coaches what we possibly could be, but this league is week to week,” Gase said. “Once we hit next Sunday, nobody is going to care about what we did this week.”
Here are things to know as both teams begin looking to Week 7:
BANGED-UP BEN: Roethlisberger was held to 83 yards passing in the first 55 minutes. He finished 19 for 34 for 189 yards with two interceptions, and his only score came with 1:02 to go.
Roethlisberger missed the end of the first half when he hyperextended his knee scrambling on a play that resulted in an interception by Reshad Jones.
“It happened before I threw the ball,” he said. “I felt something funny in my knee.”
Roethlisberger returned for the second half and said the injury didn’t hamper his mobility.
“I’m not really that mobile anymore anyway,” he said.
FULL STRENGTH: For the first time in two weeks, no Miami player hurt himself in a pregame shower , and the offensive line was intact for the first time this year.
It showed. Second-year pro Jay Ajayi reached 100 yards rushing for the first time in his career, and then kept going to finish at 204. Ryan Tannehill threw 32 times without a sack, after being sacked 17 times in the first five games.
Tannehill noted that taxed Pittsburgh defenders were throwing up even before halftime. Afterward, the Dolphins basked in their physical domination.
“It’s weird,” guard Jermon Bushrod said. “After a win, I don’t feel as sore.”
UP AND DOWN: The dud was the second of the season for the Steelers, who lost to Philadelphia 34-3 in Week 3. They have outscored opponents 136-59 in four wins, and have been outscored 64-18 in two losses.
“We got beat soundly,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “We didn’t take care of the football. We didn’t stop the run.”
INJURY REPORT: Dolphins cornerback Tony Lippett left with a hamstring injury. Tight end Dion Sims left to be evaluated for a possible concussion and didn’t return.
Steelers linebacker Vince Williams and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey had issues with cramps.
UP NEXT: The result took a little luster off the Steelers’ game next Sunday at home against AFC East leader New England (5-1). Did that make Miami a trap game?
“You can characterize it as such because we lost,” Tomlin said. “But when I look at it, I don’t look at who we play or their records or things of that nature. I look at how we perform. We didn’t perform well enough to win today.”
Miami is at home for the third consecutive week Sunday against AFC East-rival Buffalo (4-2).
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