2021 could be his final season and that means enjoying the ride he takes the team on this year.
Unfortunately, he is already dealing with an injury heading into Week 3.
— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) September 22, 2021
The quarterback is dealing with a pec injury and that means feeling a ton of pain every time he throws a football.
NFL fans are used to Roethlisberger playing through pain and this is no different.
And if he wants to chase a title in what could be his final season, he has no choice but to suit up and play unless he has an injury that requires him to miss serious time.
One Final Run
Let’s assume this is Roethlisberger’s last season in Pittsburgh.
The team is off to a 1-1 start in a division that features two Super Bowl contenders in the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.
The Cincinnati Bengals also look much better with a healthy Joe Burrow under center.
That means a few bad weeks early on could not only hurt the Steelers’ chances of reaching the Super Bowl, but just of having a shot to compete in their own division.
The key here will be for Roethlisberger to be honest about the pain he is feeling.
It is fine to play through if he can tolerate it, but not if it is so bad it is actively affecting his play.
The Steelers don’t want to pick up losses because their quarterback can’t throw the ball like he normally would.
The Backup Plan
Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins? The answer is Ben Roethlisberger. #HereWeGo
— Jordan York (@JordanYorkMusic) September 22, 2021
Rudolph has proven himself to be average at best, while Haskins is a wild card given how his career began in Washington.
Cam Newton is another option out there if the Steelers needed a quick replacement.
But going with Rudolph or Haskins is more likely.
The Steelers play the Bengals in Week 3 before games against the Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos, and Seattle Seahawks.
None of those games are easy but there is good news in the form of a Week 7 bye.
Roethlisberger may just try to play through the pain and get to the bye.
That gives him an extra week to just rest and not throw a ball.
After the bye is a Halloween showdown on the road against the Cleveland Browns.
Pittsburgh obviously wants Roethlisberger healthy for that game so it will be a huge storyline to see how he holds up starting Sunday.