The Steelers are just two games into the 2021 NFL season but already, their starting quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, is nursing an injury.
Roethlisberger, 39, is dealing with an injury to a pectoral muscle. And coach Mike Tomlin and the Steelers are approaching it with caution.
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Tomlin said that Roethlisberger’s preparation would be affected by the injury, per NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala. He also wouldn’t commit to Roethlisberger playing against the Bengals in Week 3.
“We’d better be ready to be adjustable,” Tomlin said.
More should be revealed about Roethlisberger’s practice status as the week goes on. At the very least, he appears day-to-day and will probably get a “questionable” designation ahead of 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 has made nine starts, most of which came during the 2019 season.
Rudolph has completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 2,089 yards, 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He beat Dwayne Haskins for the primary backup job after an intense preseason battle.
Speaking of Haskins, he would emerge as the backup to Rudolph if Roethlisberger misses time. Haskins was the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft by Washington and made 13 starts over two disappointing years there. He has a 3-10 record as a starter and completed 60.1 percent of his passes for 2,804 yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in Washington.