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Ben Roethlisberger Rumors: Steelers' Tomlin 'Has Given No Indication' He'll Bench QB

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVOctober 3, 2021

AP Photo/Justin Berl

Despite a slow start to the season for Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has "given no indication to those within the organization" that he will bench the veteran quarterback, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

La Canfora still noted "a quarterback change is looking increasingly inevitable to some coaches and staff."

The Steelers are 1-2 with an offense that ranks 28th in the NFL in points scored and 26th in total yards. Roethlisberger has thrown three touchdown passes with three interceptions on his way to a 79.0 quarterback rating that would be the second-worst of his career over a full season.

The veteran's 34.7 Total QBR is the fourth-worst in the NFL heading into Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers, per ESPN.

As a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion, Roethlisberger could get the benefit of the doubt from the coaching staff for his rough stretch, but it also comes after a brutal end to the 2020 season.

Pittsburgh began last season with an 11-0 record before losing five of its last six games, including a first-round playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns. Roethlisberger threw eight interceptions in his final five appearances after totaling just six picks in his first 11 games. 

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There are concerns about the rebuilt offensive line, and the Steelers have also dealt with significant injuries at receiver, with Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool all missing time. Still, the primary issue is Roethlisberger's play.

"If this continues, I would think those conversations [between Tomlin and ownership] would have to take place soon enough," a source told La Canfora. "They would have to consider it at the bye week."

With a Week 7 bye, it would give the 39-year-old quarterback just three more games to turn things around.

Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins could both get opportunities under center if the Steelers make a switch.   

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