The Pittsburgh Steelers received some good news ahead of their Week 11 clash with the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Following a bout with COVID-19, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has officially been added to the 53-man roster after clearing health and safety protocols. Via Burt Lauten, the direct of communications for the team:
#Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger will be activated to the team’s 53-man roster after passing the NFL’s required COVID-19 protocols. He will fly separate this afternoon from the team’s charter plane to Los Angeles with the expectation of starting Sunday night vs the #Chargers.
— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) November 20, 2021
This is obviously a huge boost for the Steelers to get their first stringer back in the fold. Pittsburgh struggled immensely in Week 10, settling for a 16-16 draw with the winless Detroit Lions. Mason Rudolph completed 30 of 50 passes for 242 yards and a lone touchdown in his Roethlisberger’s place.
The Steelers were very depleted against Detroit though and despite the expected return of Big Ben, they’re still missed several key players. T.J. Watt and Joe Haden are two of the notable absences, but wide receiver Chase Claypool will be back after sitting out Week 10 due to injury.
Mike Tomlin’s squad is currently 5-3-1 and sits in second place in the AFC North behind the Baltimore Ravens. Both the Steelers and Chargers desperately need victories on Sunday as they aim to remain in the playoff race.
Roethlisberger has started eight games in 2021, posting a 65.6% completion rate and throwing for 10 touchdowns. He is undoubtedly Pittsburgh’s leader and will certainly need to stay healthy if the Steelers are going to be in the postseason picture. Hopefully, nothing goes wrong between now and Sunday night and he’s able to suit up and lead his team into SoFi.