Ben Roethlisberger 'Seriously' Considered Retiring, According to Willie Colon

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2017

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Willie Colon said longtime teammate Ben Roethlisberger "seriously" considered retirement before deciding to play the 2017 NFL season.

Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk passed along comments Colon made about the situation Tuesday during an appearance on PFT Live.

"I got to sit down and talk to him, and one thing he told me is he did take it seriously," Colon said. "He's dealt with a lot of injuries."

Colon, who most recently played for the New York Jets after spending the first seven years of his career with the Steelers, went on to say the team's play along the offensive line will be crucial in whether Big Ben plays in 2018 and beyond.

"He's passionate about playing, but one thing that keeps his fire going is that offensive line," he said. "You have to worry about the health of Ben Roethlisberger. Can you keep him upright, can he stay healthy for the duration? They have the offensive line, they have the pieces around him to make it work."

In April, Roethlisberger announced on social media he planned to keep playing after more than two months where his status was in limbo after a playoff loss to the New England Patriots.

"Informed the team I am looking forward to my 14th season," he wrote on Twitter. "Steeler Nation will get my absolute best!"

The 35-year-old two-time Super Bowl champion is coming off another strong season leading the Pittsburgh offense. He completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 3,819 yards, 29 touchdowns and 13 interceptions across 14 games en route to a 95.4 passer rating.

Injury accumulation is a concern, though. He's only played all 16 regular-season games three times in 13 years. He's taken consistent punishment over the years due to his willingness to absorb hits to make a play and shaky offensive line play at times.

The Steelers have started hedging their bets for the future of the position. They re-signed backup quarterback Landry Jones to a two-year extension and drafted Joshua Dobbs out of Tennessee in the fourth round during the current offseason.