The Steelers went into the weekend not knowing whether Ben Roethlisberger would be back with the team for Sunday night’s game against the Chargers or if Mason Rudolph would be starting for the second straight week.
Roethlisberger missed Week 10 while on the COVID-19 reserve list and needed to have two negative test results in order to be cleared before a 10-day quarantine period was up. Roethlisberger got that second test on Saturday, which cleared him to play but left him without any practice time with the team during the week.
Roethlisberger threw with a trainer after his first negative test and did cardio work on his own, but said on Sunday night that it was hard to deal with the lack of time on the field.
“It’s tough not getting practice perspectives, watching practice from behind [the huddle]. I know I don’t always participate in practice, but at least you’re there and you can see it firsthand,” Roethlisberger said, via Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It’s different watching it on film at night. It’s definitely a different process. But we got through it.”
Roethlisberger didn’t seem to be too bothered by the lack of practice. He was 28-of-44 for 273 yards and three touchdowns and helped the Steelers erase a 17-point deficit to take a lead in the fourth quarter. They couldn’t hold onto it, but they’ll hope a full week of practice and the possible returns of T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Joe Haden set the stage for a better result in Cincinnati next Sunday.