The Steelers will be without their veteran quarterback when they face the winless Lions on Sunday.
Ben Roethlisberger has been placed on the Steelers’ COVID-19 list, Steelers’ director of public relations Burt Lauten announced late Saturday night. As expected, that means Roethlisberger will not play against the Lions.
STATUS UPDATE: #Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger will be placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and is OUT for Sunday’s game vs. the Detroit Lions.
— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) November 14, 2021
With Roethlisberger out for the game, the reins of the offense will be handed to either Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins.
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Is Ben Roethlisberger playing vs. Lions?
The late placement on the COVID-19 list means that Roethlisberger will be unable to play against Detroit on Sunday.
According to the NFL’s guidelines on COVID-19, vaccinated players who test positive and are symptomatic have to be isolated while contact tracing takes place. Those players would have to be out until they have had two negative tests at least 24 hours apart.
However, if a player is unvaccinated, they will need to be isolated for 10 days and must be asymptomatic before being able to return.
This is, of course, a major loss for the Steelers, who have seen improved play from Roethlisberger of late. He began the season with four touchdowns and four interceptions in his first four games, while his team went just 1-3. Since then, he has led the team to four straight victories and has six touchdown passes to zero picks.
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Overall, Roethlisberger has completed 65.6 percent of his passes with 1,986 passing yards with 10 touchdowns to four interceptions.
Neither Rudolph nor Haskins has thrown a pass this season. Rudolph has completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with 2,089 passing yards in his career. He has started nine games between 2019 and 2020.
Haskins has started 13 games — appeared in 16 — and has completed 60.1 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and 2,804 passing yards.
The Lions aren’t exactly an easy opponent to pass against, as they have allowed 1,955 passing yards, the ninth-fewest in the league. However, without Roethlisberger, the Steelers might opt to lean on running back Najee Harris. The Lions have allowed the ninth-most rushing yards this season.
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Is Ben Roethlisberger vaccinated?
The good news for Steelers’ fans is that Roethlisberger might not be out for long.
Roethlisberger told the “Dan Patrick Show” that he is vaccinated, meaning that he could return next Sunday if he has a pair of negative tests 24 hours apart before the team’s next game against the Chargers on “Sunday Night Football.”