Ben Roethlisberger can’t train but Pittsburgh Steelers prepare like he’s going to play


PITTSBURGH – Because he’s on the reserve / COVID-19 roster, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is not available to train for the Pittsburgh Steelers all week.But the undefeated Steelers still expect him to be available to play against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Roethlisberger, 38, entered the roster on Tuesday morning as a high-risk close contact after tight winger Vance McDonald returned a positive test for coronavirus a day earlier.

“We are going to prepare and continue to prepare as if Ben is playing,” said offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner on Thursday. “From that moment on, he didn’t miss a rep. He doesn’t train on Wednesdays anyway. … Games. I do not question that. ”

If he continues to test negative and not develop symptoms, Roethlisberger would be eligible to drop off the COVID-19 list on Saturday and participate in the visit.

Without Roethlisberger in training this week, Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs each get extra reps with the first team.

“Mason takes representatives,” Fichtner said. “Josh is taking rehearsals. I’m not sure if these are equal reps, but we prepare both as we would every week. They just have a few more rehearsals this week Thursday and Friday. ”

Fichtner hasn’t pledged to play a quarter more than the other in Sunday’s game if Roethlisberger can’t go.

“So far both have worked their tails to get into this conversation,” he said.

Although he cannot physically be in training, Roethlisberger participates in virtual team meetings and communicates with his coaches.

“He’s been great because he’s obviously accessible,” Fichtner said. “He has a lot of free time. We are the ones who have to find the time to adapt. … Ben likes to text, so we get text messages at night and go back and forth on a lot of things. It’s like he’s in the room. “


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