Ben Roethlisberger, the great Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, has confirmed his retirement from the NFL after 18 seasons.

Thursday's announcement on Roethlisberger's official website's Twitter page had been expected at some point during the offseason.

The 39-year-old's comments around the Steelers' Wild Card Round defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs made clear his time with his only professional team was over and appeared to hint at the end of his career.

Reading a statement alongside his family in a social media video post, Roethlisberger said: "The time has come to clean out my locker, hang up my cleats and continue to be all I can be to my wife and children.

"I retire from football a truly grateful man."

Roethlisberger was a two-time champion in Pittsburgh, leading the Steelers to glory at Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII. They also made Super Bowl XLV, losing to the Green Bay Packers.

The 11th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, Roethlisberger won the Steelers starting job in Week 3 of his rookie season and never looked back.

He made 247 QB starts, the fifth-most of all time, with all of those coming as a Steeler.

Only the same four players again – legends Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre – can top Roethlisberger for passing yards (64,088), although he ranks eighth for touchdown passes (418).

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin says "all options are on the table" as he searches for the franchise's next quarterback with Ben Roethlisberger's expected exit.

Veteran two-time Super Bowl winner Roethlisberger is yet to fully declare his intentions but it is widely anticipated he will depart the Steelers.

Mason Rudolph and 2019 first round pick Dwayne Haskins were QBs on the Steelers 2021 roster while they could explore their trade or free agency options with Russell Wilson and Jameis Winston potentially available.

"All options are on the table," Tomlin told reporters on Tuesday. "I enjoy working with [general manager] Kevin [Colbert] this time of year because we speak plain English.

"We have to improve our football team. There's two major ways you do it. You do it to free agency, and you do it through the draft.

"We have to look at what's available to us in the draft positionally. And we have to look at what's available to us, potentially, in free agency, positionally, and then we kind of bring those two discussions together.

"It kind of gives us a path in which to go about addressing our needs."

Tomlin added: "Quarterback mobility is valued not only by me but everyone. It's just a component of today's game and increasingly so."

Contracted QB Rudolph and Haskins, who joined the Steelers from Washington in 2021, were used sparingly in 2021 and would need to make a major step-up to be starters.

"Mason and Dwayne have had their moments, but they'll have to prove that," Tomlin said. "And not only in the team development process but through playing itself.

"They're guys that start that I wouldn't characterize as every-day starters. And so they'll be given an opportunity to establish themselves, and there's going to be competition. There always is.

"I think that both guys have positioned themselves to fight that fight with what they've done from a work standpoint and a professionalism standpoint in 2021."

Ben Roethlisberger reflected with pride on an 18-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers as he looks ahead to the next chapter.

There was to be no magical ending for Roethlisberger as Pittsburgh fell to a 42-21 reverse against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card round on Sunday.

The Steelers quarterback threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns on 29-of-44 passing, but he also had to watch Patrick Mahomes' brilliance cut open his side and end their postseason bid.

While Roethlisberger has not specifically said he is retiring, he hinted at as much after bidding a tearful farewell to Heinz Field following a Week 17 win over the Cleveland Browns.

On Sunday, the two-time Super Bowl winner, who has donned the Steelers' black and gold for his entire career, spoke glowingly of his time in Pittsburgh as he looked back on his time with the franchise.

He said post-game: "Yeah it's tough, but I'm proud to play with these guys. God has blessed me with an ability to throw a football and has blessed me to play in the greatest city, in Pittsburgh, with the greatest fans and the greatest football team and players. 

"And it has just been truly a blessing, and I'm so thankful to him for the opportunity that he's given me.

"Just a bunch of guys that fought for each other, that fought their butts off and just competed. It wasn't always pretty, but there are a lot of games that we found a way. 

"I'm so proud of this group of men and the way they fight for each other, for the black and gold, for our fans. It's just been an honour to play with them."

Roethlisberger's opposite number Mahomes finished with 404 passing yards and five touchdowns, and the veteran heaped praise on his fellow quarterback, who will next face the Buffalo Bills.

Mahomes responded in kind as he congratulated Roethlisberger on his Hall of Fame career.

"[He is] a tremendous player that I have a ton of respect for – the way he plays the game, the competitor that he is," Mahomes said. 

"He's won Super Bowls. He's a guy that I've watched growing up, and I have a ton of respect for him. That's what I told him, that if this is his last game, he did it the right way."

Roethlisberger is now hoping this Steelers team can carry on the legacy he has left behind.

"I've been here a long time, and it's been a lot of fun," Roethlisberger added. 

"Like I said, God has blessed me. We joke about the Browns and going there [in the NFL Draft], but it was meant to be that I was going to wear black and gold. Draft day I had a black suit on with a gold tie.

"I'm just so thankful. I hope that I'm able to pass the legacy of what it is to be a Steeler from Dan Rooney. We all miss him, anyone that knew him misses him. 

"Hopefully I can pass some of that on to some of the guys and they can continue the tradition of what it means to be a Steeler and get passed down.

"Whenever you get a bunch of new guys, once you start to lose some of the old regime if you will, you've got to find ways to pass it down. 

"And we've got some guys in there that will continue to do that. I gave Cam [Heyward] a big hug and told him it's on him now. It's his job to pass it down and to keep teaching and holding guys to the Pittsburgh standard."

As Roethlisberger prepares for whatever the next challenge is that is thrown his way, he remains thankful for the opportunities he has had, including the Steelers' improbable progression to the playoffs following a dramatic end to the regular season.

"We thought last week was going to be the end," he continued. "We didn't know what was going to happen and God blessed me to play another football game. 

"It didn't end the way we wanted it to. But it's a blessing to be able to play this game. I try and tell those guys how lucky we are that we get to play football for a living. We need to count our blessings and understand how lucky we are. 

"We're out there getting beat up and this and that, but we get to entertain millions of fans and throw, catch, run, do what we've all done as kids. That's our job and when we say our prayers thank God for that.

"I don't know if it's emotional because it's the end of the season. I mean, this would be emotional no matter what. We never like to lose and go out and I'll miss these guys. It'll probably really hit me come training camp time."

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger struggled to rein in his emotions as he reflected on what seems likely to be his final home game.

Roethlisberger is all set to retire at the end of the season, but he gave the Steelers fans another reason to laud his name as he helped Pittsburgh to a vital 26-14 win over the Cleveland Browns on Monday.

Pittsburgh are now 8-7 in the AFC North, and will need to beat the Baltimore Ravens in Week 18, whole relying on the Jacksonville Jaguars to do them a favour against the Indianapolis Colts, to make the playoffs.

Should the Steelers clinch a postseason berth, it will be the 12th time they have reached the playoffs in Roethlisberger's 18 seasons with the team.

The 39-year-old threw for one touchdown, 123 yards and a touchdown on what was his last regular-season start at Heinz Field, which he has called home since 2004.

He has thrown for 69,478 yards across his 18-season career so far (both regular and postseason), ranking him third among NFL quarterbacks during that time, behind Tom Brady (85,046) and Drew Brees (80,111), who are also the only QBs to have tallied up more appearances than Roethlisberger's 269.

Roethlisberger ranks fourth during that timespan for touchdown passes (450), behind Aaron Rodgers (492), Brees (579) and Brady (629). Only eight quarterbacks to have played over 100 games have registered a higher touchdown percentage than the Steelers veteran (4.9).

In a postgame, on-field interview with ESPN, Roethlisberger could not hold back the tears.

"It's funny. Probably not the way you wanted it, other than the win, and that’s all that really matters, that's kind of been the story of my career," he began.

"Not always pretty but we find a way. Man, did our defense step up tonight and it was just so much fun to be out here. These players, this place.

"I didn't think I was going to take the field again, but it's the best play as an offensive player in football, to take a knee. I'm glad I got to do it one last time."

Asked what it felt like leaving Heinz Field, Roethlisberger replied: "I don't know, with a win."

"I'm just so thankful for the fans, my family obviously," he added.

"The good Lord has blessed me in so many ways. We’ve still got another game obviously, excited for that but this is just an awesome place."

"Probably about now," he said when asked if the occasion had sunk in. "This is the end of it, having the chance to go back out there.

"I'm just so excited for these fans and this place, there's not another place like it.

"I'm so thankful and blessed to be able to call this place home for almost half my life. In front of these fans, seeing all the signs, all the jerseys. I've been so blessed and I'm just so thankful."

The night may have belonged to Roethlisberger, who walked to the midfield logo alone for the opening coin toss, on what was his 135th start at Heinz Field.

However, Najee Harris was the star man for the Steelers, running in a career-best 188 yards and a touchdown, with Chris Boswell kicking four field goals and Defensive Player of the Year candidate T.J. Watt sacking Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield four times.

Watt is now on 21.5 sacks for the season, one short of the NFL record set by Michael Strahan in 2001.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield paid tribute to Pittsburgh Steelers star Ben Roethlisberger as the two players prepared to do battle in Monday Night Football.

Roethlisberger said this week "all the signs" are that the clash will be his last regular-season game at Heinz Field.

The 39-year-old is anticipated to retire after the 2021 season amid reports he has told former team-mates and people within the franchise that he expects to bring his illustrious career to an end.

The Steelers great, a winner of two Super Bowls, gave a strong indication his playing days are almost over as Pittsburgh strive to sneak into the playoffs without explicitly confirming he would retire.

And Mayfield, who was asked about the comments, revealed he was a huge admirer of Roethlisberger even though he will be looking to deny the veteran's bid for a last postseason appearance.

"There is a lot that I admire about his game and respect about it, to be honest with you," said Mayfield.

"His play, he extends plays, but he also trusts his guys thoroughly. 

"He trusts his receivers, tight ends and all of those guys to make plays for him, and he has done it consistently, no matter who has been out there with him. 

"When it comes to fourth quarter or coming back and sparking drives for a comeback and when a play is needed to be made, he has consistently done that for a long, long time. 

"That is something you can't teach. He has just had that, and that is why he has had success for so long."

Six-time Pro Bowler Roethlisberger has spent an incredible 18 years with the Steelers and has 163 career wins to his name, a record in the NFL for players who have spent their entire career with one team.

Tom Brady is the only quarterback to have won more games with a single franchise, racking up 219 victories for the New England Patriots.

The Browns are 7-8 while the Steelers are at 7-7-1, but neither team are out of contention in a competitive AFC North.

Mayfield added: "With everything in our division and the situation at hand for both teams right now, regardless of Ben's situation, I think it will be a great environment. 

"To add on top of that, just everything that he has given to that franchise over the years and the success he has had consistently for a very, very long time, I have nothing but respect for Ben. 

"I am expecting just an even better environment. Both teams to be playing for the likelihood of the playoffs at hand. 

"It is just one of those things that everything is aligning to where this game matters quite a bit, but for us, we need to handle it like any other game – one play at a time and do our job at the best possible level we can."

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski added about Roethlisberger: "Obviously, he is a great player, but I am really focused on trying to defend him Monday night. He is still playing at a really high level."

Remarkably, the Steelers have won 17 straight home regular season games against the Browns, the third-longest home winning streak against one team in NFL history, though Cleveland did win in the playoffs last season.

Pittsburgh have scored fewer than 20 points in eight of their 15 games this season, the most such games in one season since 2003, when they were held below 20 points nine times. 

Roethlisberger, though, has a 24-2-1 record in his 27 career starts against the Browns. 

Cleveland's last three games were a 24-22 win against the Ravens, 16-14 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders and a 24-22 loss at the Green Bay Packers on Christmas Day.

It is only the second time in Browns history that they have played three consecutive games decided by no more than a two-point margin following a similar run in 2014. 

Pittsburgh Steelers legend Ben Roethlisberger says "all the signs" are that Monday's clash with the Cleveland Browns will be his last regular-season match at Heinz Field.

The 39-year-old quarterback stated earlier this month that he would not discuss retirement until the end of this season.

Roethlisberger is reported to have told former team-mates and people within the franchise that he expects to bring his illustrious career to an end when the campaign is over.

The Steelers great, a winner of two Super Bowls, on Thursday refused to confirm he will quit, but gave a strong indication his playing days are almost over as Pittsburgh strive to sneak into the playoffs.

He said: "I don't ever speak in definites or guarantees, that's not what I've ever done or who I am. But, looking at the bigger picture, I would say that all signs are pointing to this could be it.

"Regular season that is, I know we still have a chance to potentially get a playoff game there if things fall our way and we take care of business and things have to happen.

"But, in the grand scheme of things, in terms of regular seasons, signs are pointing that way this could be it."

He added: "I'll address the definite answer for that at some point down the road. But like I said, my focus is winning this game.

"If it is indeed my last regular-season game here, it's going to be one of the most important games of my career. I've been so blessed to play in front of the best fans in all of sports at the best venue, and what better way to have a last potential regular-season game than Monday Night Football against a division opponent.

"It's just special. So, the long-winded answer is I got a lot of focus on still for this year and this game, and that's got to be it right now."

The six-time Pro Bowler has spent an incredible 18 years with the Steelers and has 163 career wins to his name, a record in the NFL for players who have spent their entire career with one team.

Tom Brady is the only quarterback to have won more games with a single franchise, racking up 219 victories for the New England Patriots.

Roethlisberger has celebrated 91 victories at Heinz Field, 82 more than the next best for a QB of nine recorded by Kordell Stewart since the stadium opened in 2001.

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense showed up in bravura fashion to pave the way for a 19-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field.

Despite the offense struggling, Pittsburgh forced four turnovers against a Titans side who continue to lead the AFC South but slip to 9-5 with this setback.

Linebacker T.J. Watt had 1.5 sacks to reach 17.5 for the season, establishing a new Steelers record as the home team improved to 7-6-1, getting the better of a side that blanked the Jaguars 20-0 last week.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin hailed the effort from his team to overcome their shortcomings and capitalise on their strengths, with Chris Boswell kicking four field goals and Ben Roethlisberger snatching a rare touchdown.

Roethlisberger (16-of-25 for 148 yards) also went fifth on the all-time NFL passing yards list in this game, jumping ahead of Philip Rivers with a three-yard pass to Najee Harris and boosting his career total to 63,562 yards by the end.

Tomlin said: "It's an exciting victory for us, a very necessary one. They won the battle of field position, their special teams were better than ours, but in spite of all those things I thought the guys continued to fight.

"The turnovers levelled the playing field in the second half. That was the catalyst for us to go ahead and secure victory. I like the way the guys collectively smiled in the face of adversity.

"We'll be thankful for this win. That's a really good football team we played and were able to beat today. Hopefully there's some growth associated with conquering challenges like that, and we are going to need that as we go on the road next week."

The Steelers tackle the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs on December 26, while the Titans are back in action against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.

Lions chew up Cardinals

Jared Goff threw three touchdown passes and kept the Arizona Cardinals waiting to nail down a playoff place as the Detroit Lions sprang a huge shock with their 30-12 win.

With just one win, Detroit headed into the game against the Cardinals, who were 10-3 for the season, as heavy underdogs, despite Arizona losing last week to the Los Angeles Rams.

Goff found Amon-Ra St Brown and Josh Reynolds for touchdowns in the first half as the Lions surge to a 17-0 lead at halfway – at that point their biggest advantage at any stage of any game all season and the Cardinals' biggest half-time deficit for three years.

The lead was even wider come the end of the game, with Goff finding Jason Cabinda for another touchdown, meaning Arizona's once-firm grip on first place in the NFC West is now far from that, as the Rams (9-4) lurk.

The NFL said the result marked only the third time since 1970 that a team with the worst record in the NFL had beaten a team with the best or joint-best record, taking into account only games when the sides had already played at least eight times in the season.

It was also the third-largest win all-time by a team with nine-plus fewer wins than an opponent, per Stats Perform.

Cowboys almost there

The Dallas Cowboys moved to the brink of a first playoff appearance since 2018 thanks to a 21-6 win over the New York Giants, improving to 10-4 as they continue to lead the NFC East.

Behind the arm of Dak Prescott (28-of-37 for 217 yards and one touchdown), the Cowboys had just enough to avoid any undue worries, with the scoring all wrapped up by the end of the third quarter.

While Prescott was far from perfect, he was streets ahead of Giants starting QB Mike Glennon (13-of-24 for 99 yards) who was picked off three times by the Cowboys. Trevon Diggs had the third of those interceptions to reach 10 for the season. Glennon was eventually benched to allow Jake Fromm (6-of-12 for 82 yards) a chance to impress.

Prescott lost both of his starts against the Giants as a rookie in 2016 but has now gone 9-0 in subsequent starts against New York.

The Minnesota Vikings have survived an almighty Pittsburgh Steelers comeback after blowing a 29-point lead to win 36-28 and improve to a 6-7 record in Thursday Night Football.

The Vikings had led 29-0 midway through the third quarter before Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger led a remarkable fightback that included three final quarter touchdowns but they left it too late to slump to a 6-6-1 record with only one win in their past five games.

Trailing 36-28 with three seconds on the clock, Roethlisberger threw for Pat Freiermuth in the end-zone but the tight end could not hold the pass under pressure from Vikings safety Harrison Smith despite getting two hands to the ball.

The Vikings had jumped the Steelers with three first-half touchdowns, as Kirk Cousins found Justin Jefferson wide open, before running back Dalvin Cook crossed twice in the second period.

Back-to-back Greg Joseph field goals extended their lead to 29 points in the third quarter before the Steelers responded with Roethlisberger finding Najee Harris in the corner for a TD.

Rookie Harris scored his sixth rushing touchdown of the season early in the last quarter, before Roethlisberger found James Washington down the middle to make it 29-20 with 12 minutes to play.

Minnesota immediately responded with KJ Osborn scoring in a 62-yard play from Cousins, who made 14 of 31 attempts for 216 and two touchdowns, only for Freiermuth to narrow the gap again, with Diontae Johnson completing the two-point conversion to make it a one-play game.

Pittsburgh almost completed a remarkable comeback as Freiermuth could not grasp the last-ditch throw from Roethlisberger who completed 28 of 40 attempts for 308 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

Ben Roethlisberger deflected questions regarding his NFL future following the Pittsburgh Steelers' 20-19 win over the Baltimore Ravens on as rumours mount about an offseason departure.

Roethlisberger has reportedly former team-mates and people within the Steelers organisation that he expects 2021 to be his final season with Pittsburgh.

There were doubts over the 39-year-old quarterback before he committed to another campaign in Pittsburgh.

Drafted by the Steelers in 2004, six-time Pro Bowler Roethlisberger has guided the franchise to two Super Bowl victories during his career at Heinz Field.

After helping the Steelers hold off the high-flying Ravens on Sunday, Roethlisberger dismissed the report as he refused to be drawn on his future.

"I haven't told everybody that, no," Roethlisberger said at the post-game news conference after the Steelers snapped a two-game skid and three-game winless run in total. "Honestly, we've just got done with this game, I'm exhausted.

"We play in a couple hours, it feels like. That's my focus. My focus is on Minnesota and what we have to do to get ready.

"I'll address any of that stuff after the season. I've always been a one-game-at-a-time, one-season-at-a-time person. I'm going to stay that way."

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin insisted there was no distraction to manage, fresh from Roethlisberger throwing two touchdown passes, completing 21 of 31 attempts for 236 yards, to beat the Ravens.

"There's nothing to manage," Tomlin said at the news conference. "Ben doesn't allow it to become an issue.

"Ben has been pretty solid in terms of his expressions that he's singularly focused on what it is that we're doing now. He'll deal with those things on the other side of this journey, and I'm with him on it."

The Pittsburgh Steelers survived a wild finish as Ben Roethlisberger's team held on to edge Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens 20-19 in the NFL.

Baltimore went for the two-point conversion and the win after the Ravens scored a touchdown with 12 seconds remaining on Sunday, but Jackson's pass went agonisingly off Mark Andrews' fingertips with the endzone in sight.

The Steelers prevailed in another thrilling AFC North battle to snap a two-game skid after Roethlisberger (21-of-31 passing for 236 yards and two TDs) threw two fourth-down touchdowns to fuel Pittsburgh.

After a scoreless opening period, Devonta Freeman rushed for a TD as the Ravens (8-4) took a 10-3 lead into the final quarter away to the Steelers (6-5-1).

The fourth period came to life, veteran quarterback Roethlisberger started the comeback with an early 29-yard touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson before the pair combined against less than two minutes from the end.

Trailing 20-13, former MVP Jackson (23-of-37 passing for 253 yards and a touchdown) led an eight-play, 60-yard drive for his only touchdown of the game but Baltimore were unable to complete the two-point conversion at the death.

Since the 2016 season, six of Pittsburgh's seven wins against Baltimore have come by seven points or less, per Stats Perform.

 

Seahawks snap skid by sinking Niners

The Seattle Seahawks needed a victory and they got it after powering past the San Francisco 49ers 30-23.

In a mistake-filled contest, the Seahawks ended their run of three consecutive losses behind Russell Wilson's two-touchdown display in Seattle.

Future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson made his debut for the Seahawks and scored his 126th career touchdown on a one-yard rush. It broke a tie with Hall of Famer Walter Payton and moved the 36-year-old into a tie with Jim Brown for 10th in NFL history.

Jimmy Garoppolo threw two interceptions for the beaten 49ers.

The Los Angeles Rams also snapped a three-game skid, rolling over the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-7 after Odell Beckham Jr., Cooper Kupp and Van Jefferson all caught TD passes from Matthew Stafford.

Ben Roethlisberger described Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert as a "special talent" after his display in a stunning 41-37 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Herbert capped off an impressive performance by throwing a 53-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams with just over two minutes remaining as the Chargers avoided a dramatic collapse after holding off Roethlisberger's rallying Steelers 41-37.

The 23-year-old became the first player in NFL history with 380-plus passing yards and 90-plus rushing yards in a game.

He finished 30-of-41 passing for 382 yards and three TDs, while he rushed for another 90 yards – the most by a Chargers quarterback in a game.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Roethlisberger said: "They're a really good football team. It starts with their quarterback. 

"He's a great young football player. Ran all over the place today, made throws. What a special talent, he's the next generation."

Chargers head coach Brandon Staley was equally effusive in his praise of his quarterback following the tight win in Los Angeles.

"He was fantastic in the game today. He was the best player on the field. He's got real instincts at the game," Staley said.

"He threw the football at a really high-level tonight, kept himself protected, stayed turnover free… it was just real quarterbacking today and I'm really really proud of him."

The Chargers were ahead 27-10 entering the final quarter before the Steelers fought back to sensationally take a 37-34 lead with just over three minutes remaining, before Herbert's throw found Williams for the winning touchdown.

"It turned into a wild ride, but we were ready for it," Staley said about his team's performance. 

"We played nine games before today where we've been preparing for a fourth quarter like that, and when the fourth quarter happened the way it did, our guys stayed connected. 

"We played our best at the end, we finished the game on our terms, and I can't say enough about our players and coaches because that's as good a win as we've had."

Justin Herbert came up big at the death and Austin Ekeler dazzled as the Los Angeles Chargers avoided a stunning collapse after holding off Ben Roethlisberger's rallying Pittsburgh Steelers 41-37.

Herbert threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams with just over two minutes remaining as the Chargers outlasted the Steelers in a wild shoot-out on Sunday.

The Chargers led 27-10 entering the final quarter before Roethlisberger and the Steelers fought back to sensationally take a 37-34 lead behind Chris Boswell's 45-yard field goal with 3:24 remaining.

But the Chargers (6-4) avoided a mammoth collapse as Herbert found Williams four plays later to sink the Steelers (5-4-1), while Ekeler finished with a career-high four touchdowns.

Herbert became the first player in NFL history with 380-plus passing yards and 90-plus rushing yards in a game, per Stats Perform. The Chargers quarterback finished 30-of-41 passing for 382 yards and three TDs, while he rushed for another 90 yards – the most by a Chargers quarterback in a game.

With his third TD pass, Herbert improved to 53 touchdowns in his first 25 career starts, surpassing Tony Romo for fourth most in a player's opening 25 starts in the Super Bowl era – only Patrick Mahomes (68), Dan Marino (65) and Kurt Warner (59) had more.

As for Ekeler, who scored in every quarter, became the first player with multiple rushing touchdowns and multiple receiving TDs in a single game since Maurice Jones-Drew in 2011.

Steelers veteran Roethlisberger finished with three touchdowns on 28-of-44 passing for 273 yards.

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.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will miss Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. 

The team announced the move late Saturday, and Mason Rudolph is expected to start in Roethlisberger's place. 

Roethlisberger landed on the COVID-19 list the same day another veteran quarterback, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, was activated after missing last week's game at the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Rudolph figures to have an easier assignment than Rodgers' backup Jordan Love did, with Pittsburgh (5-3) hosting the winless Lions (0-8) Sunday. 

The 26-year-old Steelers backup has not played this season but started one game last year and eight games as a rookie in 2019 after Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending elbow injury. 

Roethlisberger, 39, said in a recent interview that he has received the coronavirus vaccine. He could return for Pittsburgh's November 21 game at the Los Angeles Chargers. 

Cassius Marsh has accused Tony Corrente of "hip-checking" him prior to the official flagging the Chicago Bears linebacker for taunting in the fourth quarter of their defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The incident occurred shortly after Marsh followed a sack on opposing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with his custom spinning-jump kick celebration.

Marsh then made contact with Corrente having moved towards the Steelers' bench. The official produced a flag and the Bears were penalised 15 yards.

The Steelers would go on to a kick what would become a crucial field goal for a 26-20 lead, in a game they won 29-27 to move to 5-3 for the season.

Reflecting on the incident after the game, Marsh said: "On my way to the sideline, I got hip-checked by the ref. It's pretty clear. 

"If I was to do that to a ref or even touch a ref, we get kicked out of the game and possibly suspended and fined. I just think that that was incredibly inappropriate.

"I think that one was just bad timing. It's pretty clear to everybody who saw it that I wasn't taunting. 

"I've been doing the celebration my whole career. It's just sad to see stuff like that happen in a close game like that."

Corrente himself insists the contact with Marsh had no part to play in his decision to make the call.

"First of all, keep in mind that taunting is a point of emphasis this year," Corrente said in a pool report. 

"And with that said, I saw the player, after he made a big play, run toward the bench area of the Pittsburgh Steelers and posture in such a way that I felt he was taunting them.

"I didn't judge [the contact] as anything that I dealt with. That had nothing to do with it. It was the taunting aspect."

Justin Fields had led the rallying Bears (3-6) to a 27-26 advantage with less than two minutes remaining, dazzling with a 16-yard pass to Darnell Mooney during the closing stages as Roethlisberger and the Steelers were left with work to do.

Roethlisberger (21-of-30 passing for 205 yards and two touchdowns) fuelled a seven-play drive to get Chris Boswell into position for a game-winning field goal – the Steelers snapping a three-game skid against the Bears as Cairo Santos, who had made 40 consecutive field goals, four short of the all-time record, failed with a 65-yard effort in his reply.

"We're finding ways to win the game," Roethlisberger said. 

"Played well enough. Not great. But offensively speaking, we're just doing enough right now."

Page 1 of 3
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.