Though the #1 seed is still technically up for grabs, don’t expect to see Ben Roethlisberger or Le’Veon Bell out to grab it. Speaking with reporters earlier today, Marcus Gilbert spilled the beans and admitted the key starters will sit out against the Cleveland Browns.
That comes from the Trib’s Tim Benz.
Me to Marcus Gilbert. "How does CLEV's def front look as opposed to wk 1?" GILBERT: "Ben's not there so they'll get a little taste of Landry Jones. So we don't know what to expect from them" More Gilbert:"We'll have Landry Jones in there.We wont have Ben. or 8-4. Or LeVeon Bell."
— Tim Benz (@TimBenzPGH) December 28, 2017
Mike Tomlin remained non-committal earlier in the week for the approach he planned to take.
The Steelers have locked up a first round bye and top two seed in the AFC. They’re taking the calculated decision that there’s only a minimal chance to earn the top seed, the Jets upsetting New England, while still believing the backups can beat the Browns, just as they did a year ago.
Cleveland is looking to avoid a winless season and becoming only the 2nd team in NFL history to go 0-16.
Landry Jones will start for Roethlisberger and Stevan Ridley will probably get the nod for Le’Veon Bell. Bell sitting out means he will not capture the league rushing crown. He’s currently 14 yards behind Todd Gurley, who is also sitting out this weekend.
It’s unclear if any starters defensively are going to sit.
UPDATE (4:38 PM) On Twitter, Gilbert says he did not say that to Benz. Though he misspelled his own name in the tweet so…
UPDATE (1:09 AM)
Benz has provided the audio to the clip, where Gilbert says what the original tweet says.
In case you don't want to leave that last update uncheck, here's the audio https://t.co/iC08DVA89E
— Tim Benz (@TimBenzPGH) December 29, 2017