Steelers quarterback Landry Jones wasn’t willing to rule Ben Roethlisberger out for this weekend’s game against the Patriots after Roethlisberger had surgery on the torn meniscus in his knee on Monday, but the guy who actually makes the call about who will be in the starting lineup did it for him.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said what most people expected given the nature of Roethlisberger’s injury when he met the press on Tuesday. Roethlisberger will not play against New England, leaving Week Nine against the Ravens as the earliest possible return date since the Steelers have a bye week after playing the Patriots.
Tomlin also confirmed that Jones will start at quarterback with Zach Mettenberger serving as the backup.
The Steelers will also be without a key defensive player. Defensive end Cam Heyward will miss his second straight game as a result of a hamstring injury. The Steelers gave up a season-high 474 yards against the Dolphins last Sunday without Heyward in the lineup and the Patriots will make it tough for them to make a big improvement without Heyward’s help.
Having linebacker Ryan Shazier, strong safety Mike Mitchell and free safety Robert Golden in the lineup would boost that effort, although Tomlin said their status won’t be known until later in the week.