Ben Roethlisberger has yet to take the field in the preseason. Despite many starting quarterbacks having played in each of their team’s exhibitions so far, the Pittsburgh Steelers are taking a much different approach to the future Hall-of-Famer’s participation in meaningless competition leading up to the regular season. It sure seems like Roethlisberger, though, isn’t the one calling the shots with regard to his availability.
Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Roethlisberger admitted that preseason football has “some value.”
“There is, I think, some value because every game counts in the NFL,” he said, per Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper. “In all the other major sports, you can get away with losing some games and you can kinda warm up to it because the season’s so long. In our season, you can’t really afford to do that so to get out there and get the game speed stuff is beneficial.”
Backup Mason Rudolph has started both the Steelers’ exhibition games. In total, he’s 15-of-23 for 168 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Pittsburgh has long planned to start Roethlisberger in its third preseason contest, when coaches often play their starters into halftime or sometimes even longer, but he refused to commit to taking the field on Saturday against the Tennessee Titans, instead saying he’s “pretty sure” he’ll be playing.
Ben Roethlisberger put together another banner season in 2018 despite Pittsburgh failing to make the playoffs for the first time since 2013. He led the league with 5,129 passing yards and threw for 34 touchdowns, but also tossed 16 interceptions, more than any other quarterback in football.