Only days after Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said that he expects quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to attend the team’s offseason conditioning program, it turns out that Roethlisberger won’t be there.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, a decision was made that Roethlisberger should stay away, given the distraction his presence will cause. It’s unclear whether Roethlisberger participated in the decision-making process. Though the workouts are voluntary, players cannot be prevented from participating in them.
The Steelers’ program began a couple of weeks ago, but for younger players only. Veterans will begin participating on Monday.
And so arises the first tangible distraction from the most recent sexual assault claim made against Roethlisberger. Whether and to what extent the distractions will continue depends on whether he is ultimately charged with a crime.