Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missed practice on Saturday for the second session in a row. But even though Big Ben had a compression sleeve on his leg, head coach Mike Tomlin put fans minds at ease.
According to 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, Tomlin indicated that Big Ben’s absence is not injury-related. Rather, he said, it’s to give more opportunities for backups Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs to get more reps.
“We’re just creating more opportunities for guys like Mason (Rudolph) and Josh (Dobbs), particularly in the two-minute drill we did today,” Tomlin said. “We’ve seen Ben in enough two minutes and he’s going to have an opportunity. But, particularly, as we push into preseason football, the guys that can be in possession to execute two-minutes in week one or week two of the preseason are the guys that need the reps.”
Dobbs was the only Steelers quarterback besides Roethlisberger to throw a pass last season. Rudolph is heading into his second NFL season after spending his rookie year as the third-string quarterback.
Clearly Tomlin wants to see one of his backup quarterbacks distinguish themselves in practice.
Ben Roethlisberger missed a second straight practice on Saturday, but Mike Tomlin insists it is not injury related. https://t.co/dWU4JapkIj
— 93.7 The Fan (@937theFan) August 4, 2019
The 37-year-old Roethlisberger is coming off one of his best seasons. He played all 16 games for the first time since 2014. But his injury history is well-documented, and the Steelers have made no indications that they’re even thinking about finding a successor.
Roethlisberger led the league in completions, attempts, passing yards, yards per game, and interceptions. His 5,129 passing yards were the seventh-most in NFL history.
Last year, the Steelers fell one game short of making the playoffs. They’ll need to make a big push this year if they hope to make a Super Bowl run while Big Ben can still sling it.