Ben Roethlisberger returns signing effort after COVID-19 fight as Steelers’ return offer fails – .

Ben Roethlisberger returns signing effort after COVID-19 fight as Steelers’ return offer fails – .

INGLEWOOD, Calif .– After missing a week of training on the reserve / COVID-19 roster, Ben Roethlisberger did what he does best.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4-1) lost to the Los Angeles Chargers 41-37 on Sunday night, but Roethlisberger bounced back from a bout with the virus to deliver an iconic performance.

He completed 28 of 44 attempts for 273 yards and 3 touchdowns and helped mount a 27-point comeback in the fourth quarter that fell short. He scored the most points the Steelers have scored in the fourth quarter with Roethlisberger as the starting quarterback.

“I’m grateful to Ben for coming back the way he did, getting on the bandwagon and contributing,” coach Mike Tomlin said after the game.

It’s the kind of game that has been a calling card throughout his career, coming back from injury or illness with vengeance. A year ago, he missed a week of training as a high-risk close contact of a teammate who tested positive for COVID-19 and returned to pitch for 333 yards and 4 TDs against the Bengals from Cincinnati.

This time around, Roethlisberger was sidelined when he began to experience symptoms of the virus eight days ago. He called head track coach John Norwig the night before the Steelers’ scheduled arrival for the Detroit Lions to tell him he was not feeling well and would not be showing up at the hotel. of the team to prevent someone else from getting sick. Norwig has indicated he needs to take a COVID-19 test. By the time Roethlisberger returned home after being tested that night, he discovered he was positive for the virus.

“I just assumed I had a little bug,” he said, speaking for the first time since landing in COVID-19 protocols. “Tonight was the worst night. Fever, not feeling well. Sunday I started to feel better. Then, on Monday, I knew I was feeling good physically, but just because you feel good, that doesn’t mean you’re gonna be able to pass the test. Thanks to the doctors and staff for helping me get out of here. “

Roethlisberger also credited his wife with looking after him and their three children while he was ill and unable to leave home. At home, he participated in virtual meetings with offensive coordinator Matt Canada and quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan and stayed involved in the game plan.

“I think the MVP of the week is my wife because it wasn’t easy for all the kids to be home, for me to be home; a cranky husband who probably wants to be in football, ”Roethlisberger said. “I just had to be the substitute teacher. It was a very interesting time, me wearing a mask at home and trying to help with homework and still trying to spend time on meetings and watching iPad and reviewing plays.

“It’s hard not to have training prospects, to watch training from behind. I know I don’t always participate in training, but at least you’re there and you can see it with your own eyes. It’s different from watching it on film at night. It’s definitely a different process, but we got it right. “

He tested daily and returned the first of two required negative COVID-19 tests on Friday. Roethlisberger threw out with his coach after the first negative, and he also did some cardio in his home gym as part of the three-day build-up period before Sunday night’s game.

After his second negative test on Saturday, Roethlisberger flew to LA separately from the team charter as an added precaution.

Although he hadn’t been in training all week, Roethlisberger’s mastery of attacking was consistent and most of his passes seemed crisp and focused. Diontae Johnson was the biggest beneficiary of Roethlisberger’s return, with seven receptions for 101 yards and one touchdown. Chase Claypool, in his first game back from a toe injury, also had five catches for 93 yards.

“I saw the same as if he was in training all week,” Johnson said. “Consistency. It was just good to have him back there and get the offense going again. Don’t tell Mason [Rudolph] wasn’t doing his job, but Ben and the attack were playing well tonight. I just feel like we failed. “

ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.


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