The Steelers are just two games away from the 2021 NFL season, but their starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is already healing from an injury.
Roethlisberger, 39, suffers from an injury to a pectoral muscle. And coach Mike Tomlin and the Steelers approach it with caution.
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Tomlin said Roethlisberger’s preparation would be affected by the injury, per Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network. He also wouldn’t commit to Roethlisberger playing against the Bengals in Week 3.
“We better be prepared to be adjustable,” said Tomlin.
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More information is expected to be revealed on Roethlisberger’s practice status during the week. At the very least, it pops up on a day-to-day basis and will likely get a “questionable” designation by week 3.
If Roethlisberger can’t play, the Steelers will likely rely on Mason Rudolph to start in his place. Rudolph has appeared in 15 games during his career and made nine starts, most of them in the 2019 season.
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Rudolph completed 61.7% of his passes for 2,089 yards, 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He beat Dwayne Haskins for the main save post after an intense preseason battle.
Speaking of Haskins, he would become Rudolph’s replacement if Roethlisberger runs out of time. Haskins was the 15th pick overall in Washington’s 2019 NFL Draft and made 13 starts in two disappointing years. He’s 3-10 as a starter and completed 60.1% of his passes for 2,804 yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in Washington.