Ben Roethlisberger to Factor CTE Concerns into Retirement Decision

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2017

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during NFL football minicamp, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger admitted concerns about CTE could factor into how long he keeps playing in the NFL

In an interview with Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger discussed why he isn't committing to playing beyond the 2017 season:

"I've been blessed to do this a long time. I think it's just seeing my kids growing up, and in the offseason I love getting to spend time with them, and then I come here and football season just has to take up so much of your time. Even when you get home, I try my best to turn it off when I walk in the front door. I think I do a pretty good job of that but it still consumes you in a way.

"Just all those things combined — being healthy, being able to play catch with my kids. I feel good mentally, I know this new study that came out that 90 percent [of NFL] players' brains who were studied had CTE.

"There's a lot of scary things, and I think my wife would be OK if I hung it up, too. But I still love the guys, I still love the game, so it was right for me to come back and give it everything I have this year."

Roethlisberger's comments come three days after a study was published by medical journal JAMA (via CNN.com's Daniella Emanuel) in which researchers detected CTE in 110 of 111 brains that were donated from former NFL players.

After the Steelers lost to the New England Patriots in the 2017 AFC Championship Game, Roethlisberger told 93.7 The Fan he was considering retirement. 

"I'm going to take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options," he said. "To consider health, and family and things like that and just kind of take some time away to evaluate next season, if there's going to be a next season."

Roethlisberger will play the 2017 season at 35 years old. He has been hit with injuries each of the last two seasons, missing a total of six games during that span.