Ben Roethlisberger promised there would be no finger-pointing in the Steelers locker room and, anyway, if he tried to do so it would be a slightly crooked point.
A Steelers doctor told the quarterback he has a subluxation -- partial dislocation -- of his right index finger. He wore a small wrap on it Tuesday, did not practice, but insists it will cause no harm when he next plays Oct. 13 against the New York Jets.
So much for the good news Tuesday as the Steelers (0-4) gathered to watch film of their fourth consecutive loss and hit the practice field for the first of two in their off week.
Steelers Report: 'The players are taking it hard'
The PG's Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac take stock of the Steelers as the team heads into its bye week. (Video by Andrew Rush; 10/1/2013)
Roethlisberger, winner of two Super Bowls, thus goes into the history books with quarterbacks Dick Shiner and Kent Nix for failing to lead the Steelers to a victory in the first four games of the season. Naturally, it irks him.
"Yeah, because I take pride in winning football games more than any numbers. That's what I've based my career on so far, wins and losses. It definitely stings."
Roethlisberger clarified his statement after the 34-27 loss Sunday against Minnesota in London that the Steelers were the worst team in the league.
"I was talking record-wise. If you look record-wise, we are one of them ... I am always a big believer in wins and losses, not numbers, then I would say we are, record-wise, one of the worst teams in the NFL. I don't think it's a far stretch."
Safety Ryan Clark said Tuesday he thought Roethlisberger's "worst team" comment was dramatic.
"Right now, we're not good," Clark said. "Whether we're the worst team or not doesn't matter. We haven't won a football game, and that's what counts. I think that's being dramatic a little bit to say that. But, when you lose a game the way we had just lost one, that's the emotion you have.
"I don't know if he believes that or not. If he does, it is what it is. For me, I know it's below the line. I know some places you can be 0-4, and it's not talked about a lot. To be 0-4 here, the sky is falling."
So, too, is Roethlisberger, on pace to be sacked more times than ever in his 10-year career. The Steelers want to do something to fortify his blind side.
Left tackle Mike Adams again had trouble blocking a good pass rusher, this time Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen, who had 2 1/2 of the Vikings five sacks. Adams allowed two of those and was penalized for holding to prevent another.
The more the Steelers try to protect Roethlisberger with schemes, high draft picks, an emphasis on running the ball better and him releasing it quicker, the more he goes down. Roethlisberger has been sacked 15 times in four games. Over the course of 16 games, that's on pace for 60 sacks and that would be 10 more than his career-high 50 in 2009.
Help might be on the way, Roethlisberger said, but he's not sure what form it will take, whether a change in left tackles and/or other bodies on his left side.
"I don't know what they are going to do. Is it adding another blocker? Is it changing the protection altogether? Is it putting a running back there to chip? I obviously don't know yet what the thought is. I've heard talks about that this morning. I just don't know what the final product is. I don't know if we even know what the final product is yet."
The overall product, he and everyone else knows, needs to improve. Despite their nearly half-century franchise low for four-game starts, Roethlisberger said confidence hasn't drooped among his teammates.
"Not if you ask me. Just being around guys for a couple of hours this morning so far, it doesn't seem to be that way. Obviously, we are down and disappointed. It hurts, but confidence, I don't think it's low."
Foster expected to play
Ramon Foster was not seriously injured Sunday night and should be able to play against the Jets.
Foster, the starting left guard, left with what was described Sunday as a pectoral injury. Examined after the Steelers arrived home from London, he was told the injury is a strain.
Kelvin Beachum, who had replaced Mike Adams for a series at left tackle, played the second half at left guard for Foster.
Ed Bouchette: email@example.com and Twitter @EdBouchette. First Published October 2, 2013 4:00 AM