NFL

Steelers QB Roethlisberger set to return against the Chargers

By Sports Desk November 20, 2021

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been activated off the team's reserve/COVID-19 list.

Roethlisberger missed last week's clash with the Detroit Lions, which finished 16-16 after overtime, but the Steelers' director of communications Burt Lauten confirmed on Saturday that the 39-year-old will be back for Sunday's meeting with the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Steelers are 5-3-1 and second in the AFC North, though Roethlisberger's absence was felt against the Lions.

Mason Rudolph started in his place, but missed a glut of opportunities to deliver touchdown passes, including a late throw into the dirt that should have put Ray-Ray McCloud into the endzone.

Rudolph threw for, 242 yards, one touchdown, one interception and registered a completion percentage of 60.

While Rudolph told ESPN on Thursday that he was preparing to start against the Chargers, it appears he will be back on the bench, with Roethlisberger able to return to action.

Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl champion, has thrown for 1,986 yards and 10 touchdowns so far this season across eight games.

Related items

  • Deshaun Watson to start Browns’ preseason opener Deshaun Watson to start Browns’ preseason opener

    While his regular-season debut as a Cleveland Brown will not come until at least October, Deshaun Watson's first game with his new team is now just days away.

    The Browns announced Wednesday that Watson will start Friday's preseason opener against the Jaguars in Jacksonville, though it is unclear how much the embattled quarterback will play in his first appearance since being acquired from the Houston Texans in March.

    Watson is facing a suspension of at least six games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy but is eligible to play in the preseason. The three-time Pro Bowler had been facing 24 civil lawsuits filed by female message therapists alleging sexual misconduct between 2020 and 2021 during his time with the Texans.

    He was not charged by two grand juries and has strenuously denied any wrongdoing. Watson settled 20 of the lawsuits in June, with a further three settlements reported at the start of August ahead of the verdict of his NFL hearing.

    The NFL announced last week it will appeal arbiter Judge Sue L. Robinson's ruling in hopes of extending the ban. The league was seeking a minimum one-year suspension as well as a fine of at least $5million.

    "We decided it was the right thing to do," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday at the league's owners meetings in Bloomington, Minnesota.

    "We've seen the evidence. [Judge Robinson] was very clear about the evidence. She reinforced the evidence, that there was multiple violations here and they were egregious, and it was predatory behavior. Those are things that we always felt were important for us to address in a way that's responsible."

    The Browns signed Watson to a five-year, $230m fully guaranteed extension following the trade and structured the deal so he would face lesser financial penalties in the event of a suspension. He is due a base salary of only $690,000 in 2022.

    Watson has not appeared in an NFL game of any kind since the 2020 season finale. The Texans held him out of all of their 2021 games while a criminal investigation into the allegations was conducted.

    A grand jury ultimately dropped all criminal charges in March, and Watson's attorneys have since settled all but one of the civil cases.

    Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski did not reveal his quarterback plans for the preseason when speaking to reporters Tuesday. The Browns held a closed practice Wednesday and were set to fly to Jacksonville later in the evening.

    "We have a framework for how we are going to handle this preseason," Stefanski said Tuesday. "As you know, you always reserve the right to change your mind based on how practice goes and those types of things, but we are pretty confident in the plan we have."

    Veteran Jacoby Brissett, who is 14-23 in 37 career starts, will serve as the Browns' quarterback during Watson's suspension. The journeyman started five games for the Miami Dolphins last season and finished the campaign with 1,283 passing yards, five touchdown passes, four interceptions and a 78.1 passer rating. 

  • Browns return specialist Grant to miss season with torn Achilles Browns return specialist Grant to miss season with torn Achilles

    Cleveland Browns standout return specialist Jakeem Grant will miss the 2022 season with a torn left Achilles tendon, head coach Kevin Stefanski announced Wednesday. 

    Grant, a second team All-Pro as a punt returner in each of the last two seasons, was hurt during Tuesday's practice and underwent an MRI that confirmed the injury. 

    "I really feel awful for Jakeem," Stefanski said in a statement. "We've witnessed how hard the young man has worked since he got to our team. 

    "We all realise injuries are a part of our game, but that doesn't make it any easier to accept, especially for someone that works as hard and carries himself like Jakeem."

    The Browns signed Grant to a three-year contract worth up to $13.8million in March to be their primary return man and compete for snaps at slot receiver after the team released Jarvis Landry. 

    One of the game's premier returners, Grant has averaged 10.3 yards per punt return with four touchdowns and 24.5 yards per kick return with two touchdowns over six NFL seasons. His six combined touchdowns on kick and punt returns since 2016 are tied with Jacksonville Jaguars' Jamal Agnew for the most in the league over that period. 

    As a receiver, Grant has totaled 100 catches for 1,140 yards and seven touchdowns for his career. The 29-year-old had career highs of 36 receptions and 373 receiving yards with the Miami Dolphins in 2020. 

    A sixth-round pick of the Dolphins in 2016, Grant had spent his entire career with Miami before being traded to the Chicago Bears in October.  

    Grant's injury gives rookie David Bell, a third-round pick in this year's draft, the inside track to be Cleveland's No. 3 receiver behind Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones. Second-year pro Demetric Felton will likely take over on returns barring any additional roster moves.  

  • Roger Goodell explains NFL appeal against Deshaun Watson decision, pursuit of full-year ban Roger Goodell explains NFL appeal against Deshaun Watson decision, pursuit of full-year ban

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has explained the league appealed the advised six-game ban for Deshaun Watson because a disciplinary hearing found "egregious" violations and "predatory behaviour".

    Watson faced 24 civil lawsuits following sexual assault and misconduct allegations. He was not charged by two grand juries and has strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

    The Cleveland Browns quarterback settled 20 of the lawsuits in June, with a further three settlements reported at the start of August ahead of the verdict of his NFL hearing.

    Former US district judge Sue L. Robinson oversaw those proceedings and concluded Watson should miss six games with no additional fine.

    But the NFL felt, having reviewed that decision, the evidence uncovered by Robinson required a harsher punishment, and it has used its right to appeal.

    It is widely reported the league believes Watson should be suspended for the entire 2022 season, and Goodell outlined why this is the case.

    "We've seen the evidence," he said. "[Robinson] was very clear about the evidence, should we enforce the evidence – that there were multiple violations here, and they were egregious, and it was predatory behaviour.

    "Those are things that we always felt were important for us to address in a way that's responsible."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.