Ben Roethlisberger: Steelers Got 'Short End of the Stick' After Titans' Outbreak

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2020

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) passes against the Houston Texans in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Don Wright/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Wednesday he's not happy the NFL reworked the team's schedule to accommodate the Tennessee Titans' COVID-19 outbreak.

"Of course we got the short end of the stick," Roethlisberger told reporters.

The Steelers' bye, which was originally scheduled for Week 8, was moved up to Week 4 on short notice because of the Titans' inability to play Sunday's game. The Tennessee game was delayed until Week 7, and Pittsburgh's clash with the Baltimore Ravens was shifted back to Week 8.

Roethlisberger, who played just two games last year because of an elbow injury, was off to a strong start as the Steelers posted wins over the New York Giants, Denver Broncos and Houston Texans to reach 3-0.

"It's tough, especially for someone like myself who was just starting to get back into the flow of things," he said Wednesday. "It's not easy, but you've got to adjust. You've got to adapt and do the best you can."

Pittsburgh is now slated to take the field in 13 consecutive weeks to finish the regular season in addition to dealing with the challenges of playing throughout a pandemic, which Big Ben discussed:

"We need to be cautious, be careful and protect each other. New challenges arise this week with fans being allowed in the game now. Fans are allowed in the stadium, which means we're allowed to have guests in town and things like that. In the Roethlisberger family, we're not changing anything. No guests are coming in town. But there are a few challenges that have been presented and so hopefully guys can continue to be as cautious and as careful as we have been to this point."

The Steelers are set to return Sunday when they host the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field.

Meanwhile, the Titans had two more players test positive Wednesday, which delayed the reopening of their team facilities, per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network. It ended a brief streak of two days without a positive test and brings Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills into question.

Tennessee doesn't have another bye week, which could create a problem for the NFL since it didn't build any extra weeks into its schedule.

ESPN's Dan Graziano reported the Titans may have to forfeit:

Get Up @GetUpESPN

"[The Titans'] game against Buffalo this weekend is in serious jeopardy. It might not be able to be rescheduled. ... that game could be cancelled, it could be forfeited by the Tennessee Titans if they find that the Titans are responsible for the outbreak." —@DanGrazianoESPN https://t.co/rDcZwLNbkV

If they don't play this weekend, their next scheduled game would be Oct. 18 against the Houston Texans.