PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger will start at quarterback on Saturday for the Pittsburgh Steelers in their third preseason game on the 2021 season at Heinz Field against the Detroit Lions.
What happens after that, head coach Mike Tomlin is keeping close to the vest.
Speaking for the final time with reporters before the game on Thursday, Tomlin said that the team has a plan both for how long they intend to let Roethlisberger play and how the distribution of snaps behind him will go, but declined to reveal those plans for either scenario.
“We’ll play it by ear,” Tomlin said. “We have a plan, but we’re also willing do adjust that plan based on what it is that we see in stadium.”
Tomlin also declined to say whether it will be Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins that will follow Roethlisberger, but did say that getting Haskins some work with the first team is not on his list of things to do for this game.
“Not in this particular instance,” Tomlin said. “The emphasis for this outing as it pertains to the quarterback position is getting Ben his first in-stadium exposure of the season and we’ll go from there.”
Haskins has impressed in the team’s first two preseason games, while working largely with the second team, behind Rudolph, who took first-team reps in Roethlisberger’s absence. But Tomlin couched those accomplishments as having come with and against less-than-varisty competition.
However, if Haskins is going to get an opportunity to take some first-team reps, it does not seem that is in the cards on Saturday.