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Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger Out vs. Lions After Going on Reserve/COVID-19 List

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVNovember 14, 2021

AP Photo/Matt Durisko

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will miss his team's home game against the Detroit Lions on Sunday after the team placed him on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The 39-year-old signal-caller is an 18-year NFL veteran who has completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 10 touchdowns (four interceptions) so far this season.

Big Ben is a surefire future Hall of Famer with six Pro Bowl nods and two Super Bowl titles to his credit, although he is undoubtedly reaching the latter stages of his career.

Even so, Roethlisberger isn't far removed from the best statistical season of his career in 2018 when he set career highs with 5,129 passing yards and 34 passing touchdowns.

He was unable to build upon that the next season, as an elbow injury cut his campaign short after only two games.

Roethlisberger managed to bounce back last season, going 12-3 as a starter and completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 3,803 yards, 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

While Roethlisberger led the Steelers to an AFC North title last season, he seemed to tire down the stretch, as Pittsburgh lost four of its final five regular-season games and was eliminated by the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Wild Card Round of the playoffs.

Roethlisberger hasn't always put up the big numbers of contemporaries like Tom Brady and Drew Brees, but he has been a productive and winning quarterback throughout his career, going 156-74-1 as a starter entering 2021.

That speaks to how important it has been for the Steelers to have Roethlisberger on the field, although they may have to figure out how to win without him for a period of time.

However, Roethlisberger has said he is fully vaccinated.

Dan Patrick Show @dpshow

Big Ben shows us his tracer, tells us he's vaccinated, and about the safety protocol he goes through daily at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Steelers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Steelers</a> facility. <a href="https://t.co/WD3MxepA5N">pic.twitter.com/WD3MxepA5N</a>

Therefore, he could return in time for the team's Nov. 21 matchup at the Los Angeles Chargers if he gets two negative COVID-19 tests at least 24 hours apart.

Mason Rudolph is in line to replace Roethlisberger for the time being. Rudolph is 5-4 in his young career as a starter and is trying to prove he can be the full-time starter once Roethlisberger retires.

Roethlisberger missing time would also result in Dwayne Haskins, the No. 15 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft by the Washington Football Team, moving up the depth chart.

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