After being a healthy scratch the last two weeks it sounds like Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Eli Rogers will play this coming Sunday in the team’s road game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
During a Tuesday morning interview on 93.7 The Fan, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was asked about Rogers being inactive the last two games and if he thinks he’ll play Sunday against the Chiefs.
“I think he’ll be on the field this Sunday,” Roethlisberger said of Rogers. “I mean that’s obviously coach’s call and everything like that, I just think he wanted to give JuJu [Smith-Schuster] some time and see what he was able to do. I think we’ll see more of Eli this week.”
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked an hour later during his weekly press conference about Rogers and if he thinks the former undrafted free agent will ultimately play Sunday against the Chiefs.
“Yeah, I’m open to that,” Tomlin said. “I was open to that a week ago. Like I said when we deactivated him, it wasn’t a death sentence. it was an opportunity for him to recenter and get squared away from a technical standpoint, particularly from a field-a-punt standpoint, which is one of the core jobs that he possesses. He’ll be given an opportunity to prove that and wide receiver play this week and we’ll see where it leads us.”
In short, Tomlin didn’t guarantee that Rogers would play Sunday against the Chiefs, but with that said, it would make sense for him to return this week just the same. Rogers hasn’t played since he muffed a first quarter punt in the Steelers Week 3 loss to the Chicago Bears. While he’s been inactive the last two games fellow Steelers wide receiver Justin Hunter has dressed in his place and wide receiver Antonio Brown has returned punts.
On Tuesday, Roethlisberger was asked what Rogers can bring to the Steelers offense if he returns to the field Sunday against the Chiefs.
“I think he’s a good man-beater guy,” Roethlisberger said of Rogers. “He’s one of the quickest people I’ve ever seen – gets in and out of breaks quick. So, I think we’ll see him on the field with JuJu. Maybe put JuJu outside to give Martavis [Bryant] a little bit of a break. I think we’ll be able to move some guys around, do some things because JuJu does some really good things with his size and body in zone coverages and Eli does some good stuff with man. We’ll be seeing some man stuff this week so I think we’ll see Eli on the field a little bit this week, I think. That’s what I anticipate.”
Entering Week 6 of the season Rogers has registered just 6 receptions for 54 yards. He’s also played just under 100 offensive snaps on the season.