The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to let Ben Roethlisberger relaxation up for the playoffs.
Coach Mike Tomlin stated Tuesday that Roethlisberger is not going to play when the AFC North champion Steelers (12-3) go to rival Cleveland (10-5) within the regular-season finale on Sunday.
Pittsburgh can end no worse than third within the AFC and is out of the operating for home-field benefit after defending Tremendous Bowl champion Kansas Metropolis locked it up final weekend.
So quite than put the 38-year-old Roethlisberger in danger, backup Mason Rudolph will return to the scene of the ugly brawl that marred the top of Pittsburgh’s earlier go to to FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Browns drilled the Steelers 21-7 on Nov. 14, 2019, a sport by which Rudolph threw 4 interceptions. Even worse, he and Cleveland defensive finish Myles Garrett received right into a battle within the ultimate minutes that ended with Garrett ripping off Rudolph’s helmet and hitting Rudolph with it earlier than being taken out by Steelers middle Maurkice Pouncey.
The aftermath included Garrett — who claimed he erupted after being known as a racial slur by Rudolph, an accusation the league couldn’t substantiate and one Rudolph denied — getting suspended for the rest of the 2019 season.
Rudolph, thrust into the beginning function because of a season-ending proper elbow harm to Roethlisberger in Week 2, struggled the next week towards Cincinnati earlier than being benched. Tomlin stated he isn’t involved about final 12 months’s incident being an element for Rudolph.
“I haven’t had an opportunity to speak to him about it, however I’m positive he’s enthusiastic about getting the chance to start out, definitely,” Tomlin stated.
Garrett has moved on after being reinstated throughout the offseason and along with having a standout 12 months was additionally the group’s nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Yr Award, an honor given to gamers for his or her work each on and off the sphere.
Garrett’s first sport towards the Steelers this season was uneventful, a 38-7 Pittsburgh win on Oct. 18 by which Rudolph really got here on in mop-up responsibility of Roethlisberger within the fourth quarter.
The Browns can finish their 18-year playoff drought with a victory. They’re assured that motivation alone will outweigh any lingering dangerous emotions about dealing with Rudolph.
“I perceive the feelings and all of that sort of stuff, however I really feel like Myles’ maturity stage and the group’s maturity stage as a complete is that we perceive that that is greater than one incident and larger than one scenario,” Cleveland linebacker Larry Ogunjobi stated.
“Proper now, it’s about doing one thing that has not been finished in a really very long time, and it’s about taking part in for every certainly one of us, our brothers, and discovering a method to win. That’s an important factor. That’s my tackle it.”
The stakes are significantly decrease for Pittsburgh, which wrapped up its seventh AFC North title in Tomlin’s 14 seasons by rallying previous Indianapolis 28-24, a sport by which Roethlisberger shook off a monthlong funk to throw for 3 second-half touchdowns.
One of the best the Steelers might hope for this weekend is a win over Cleveland and a loss by Buffalo, a mix that may raise Pittsburgh to the AFC’s second seed and guarantee it house subject in every of the primary two rounds ought to the Steelers make it that far.
Both approach, the Steelers have efficiently prevented a possible assembly with the Chiefs till the AFC championship sport, offered both make it that far.
There’s an opportunity a handful of Pittsburgh’s different high-profile gamers might get the day without work in Cleveland offered there’s sufficient depth out there.
“I’d a lot quite protect and shield gamers with a rotational mindset than to take away one participant and expose the remainder of the group to an irregular variety of snaps,” Tomlin stated.
“It’s a blessing to be in these circumstances and make most of these choices. Make no mistake about it, it doesn’t change our intentions. Soccer is our sport. Our job is successful. We intend to do our job.”