- Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger won’t play in week 10 due to COVID-19
- The two-time Super Bowl champion reported symptoms himself before a home game against the winless Detroit Lions
- Although veteran backup Mason Rudolph will start in Roethlisberger’s place, don’t be surprised if you see Dwayne Haskins too
Pittsburgh Steelers fans have likely long circled a week 10 matchup with Jared Goff and the winless Detroit Lions as an easy win. However, the way to the 6: 3 start was much tougher.
Those who expected Ben Roethlisberger to carve through a mediocre Lions defense will instead watch Mason Rudolph – and possibly a little bit Dwayne Haskins – on Sunday November 14th while Roethlisberger is on COVID-19 log.
Ben Roethlisberger will miss the Steelers Week 10 clash with Detroit while on the COVID-19 list
The backstory: #Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger reported symptoms to the team himself, took a test and was positive for COVID-19, a source said. A great example of a gamer doing the right thing and preventing it from spreading. Difficult to report yourself, but overall a strong leadership step.
– Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 14, 2021
A rash of injury and positive COVID-19 tests recently incapacitated some of the NFL’s top quarterbacks. Arizona Cardinals star Kyler Murray (ankle) and Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers (COVID) were both inactive at week 9.
Although Rodgers will be back in week 10, he was essentially trading with Roethlisberger. The two-time Super Bowl champion was added to the Steelers’ COVID-19 list on Saturday, November 13th after reporting symptoms and testing positive himself.
Unlike Rodgers, the 39-year-old Roethlisberger is vaccinated, which theoretically speeds up his possible return to the field. Depending on how he tests in the coming week, he may be able to play the Los Angeles Chargers in week 11.
Roethlisberger played sharply despite the Steelers’ general offensive problems. He entered Week 10 with a completion percentage of 65.6, 1,986 yards, 10 touchdowns, and four interceptions in the season.
Mason Rudolph (and his helmet) starts again for the Steelers
With Roethlisberger on the mend, the Steelers turn to Rudolph, a fourth-year quarterback from the state of Oklahoma, as in previous years.
Steelers fans saw many of Rudolph making eight starts and winning five in 2019. Roethlisberger missed all but two games this year with an elbow injury.
The 2018 four-round pick completed 62.2% of his passes for 1,765 yards, 13 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. That wasn’t enough, however, to keep the Steelers from finishing 8-8 and leaving the NFL playoffs.
Rudolph is perhaps best known for his role in a Thursday night brawl with Cleveland Browns all-pro pass rusher Myles Garrett. Garrett tore off Rudolph’s helmet and swung it at the sophomore quarterback with five seconds to go in a 21-7 Browns win on November 14, 2019.
Garrett, who is Black, later accused Rudolph, a white man, of using a racial slur that night. Rudolph denied the claim, and the NFL said it found no such evidence.
Rudolph completed 25 passes in 43 attempts for 324 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in 2020. He didn’t take an offensive snapshot in the first nine weeks of the 2021 campaign.
Don’t be surprised if Dwayne Haskins sees snapshots against the Lions
Roethlisberger’s absence not only puts Rudolph in the starting position, but also elevates Dwayne Haskins, a 2019 Washington Football Team first round pick, to the substitute field.
If Rudolph is struggling or the game can get out of hand, don’t be surprised when Steelers trainer Mike Tomlin sends Haskins onto the field. The Ohio State product completed 60.1% of its passes in Washington for 2,804 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions in 16 games and 13 starts.
Washington cut Haskins last December due to due issues. He has not reported any issues since joining the Steelers in January.
For the sake of the Steelers, they can only hope that Rudolph and Haskins will play better than Jordan Love in Week 9 in the absence of Aaron Rodgers.
RELATED: Ben Roethlisberger Hints at His Steelers Future By Admitting He’s Not Tom Brady: “I Promise You I Won’t Play Soccer At 44”