Don’t expect an update on Ben Roethlisberger’s status tomorrow. Steelers’ Nation, and the team itself, won’t find out until sometime Saturday. That’s according to this tweet sent out by the PPG’s Gerry Dulac a short time ago.
Roethlisberger will need to have two negative tests taken 24 hours apart in order to gain clearance to play. The fact he won’t get cleared by tomorrow means at best, he’ll be able to practice in some sort of walkthrough. But given this is an away game, the team may hold those in LA, often times down in a hotel ballroom/conference room the night before or perhaps since this is a Sunday night game, the morning of.
It puts Pittsburgh in a difficult spot, not knowing who their quarterback will be until roughly 24 hours before kickoff. They’ve been in that situation before, Roethlisberger placed on the COVID list last season as a close contact prior to their Week 10 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Roethlisberger did gain clearance and had a strong performance, tossing four touchdowns in an easy victory, but that was a home game.
If Roethlisberger isn’t cleared until the team flight leaves, he’ll have to arrange separate transportation. Something that shouldn’t be an issue for him or the franchise. A ride on Art Rooney II’s private jet may be in order.
Of course, if Roethlisberger isn’t able to clear protocols or play for any reason, Mason Rudolph will make his second straight start. He went 30/50 for 242 yards, one touchdown, and one sack in last week’s tie against the Detroit Lions. If Rudolph gets the nod, Dwayne Haskins will serve as the team’s #2 QB. This week, Pittsburgh signed James Morgan to its practice squad. He is wearing #4 for the team but is highly unlikely to be elevated to the active roster this weekend.