PITTSBURGH — Steelers starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will continue to not participate in Wednesday practices, head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday.
Roethlisberger has not participated in Wednesday practices for some time now, and Tomlin said the team’s 1-2 start, with an especially slow start on offense, is not reason to change the mindset that caused the team to have Roethlisberger sit out those practices in the first place.
“This guy has a body of work over the course of not only what we’ve done in preparation for this season, but over the course of eighteen years that has us taking that approach and that is a global approach,” Tomlin said.
“It rests him and rightfully so. He’s an older guy and the wear and tear affects him differently than younger guys. But also he’s an older guy and he has a volume of plays that most guys can’t pull from that probably requires more physical work in an effort to be ready to play.”
Tomlin also referenced the fact that the NFL has gone to a 17-game season, putting extra emphasis on the ability of his players to stay healthy throughout the long year. The Steelers have already have already had a number of players, including Devin Bush and Joe Haden, miss time after being injured at practice.
“You’ve got to look at the totality of the journey,” Tomlin said. “We’re going into game four. We have many games that lie ahead, and I don’t want to be fielding questions late in the year about the quality of this throwing arm, for example.”
Tomlin also noted that the Steelers rest veteran players, not just for the benefit of those players, but because it benefits the entire team, as well.
“We’ve got two quality young quarterbacks that we feel good about, in (Mason) Rudolph and (Dwayne) Haskins and days that he doesn’t work allows them an opportunity to work with the first unit and grow and develop, which is something they need, as well. So we’re serving a lot of things with that approach and very rarely is that approach or that decision to to that approach made in a vacuum or made on a singular set of circumstances.”
Tomlin also said that he did not consider pulling Roethlisberger from the game, even down scores