Pittsburgh Steelers activate Ben Roethlisberger after quarterback clears NFL COVID-19 protocols, the team announced on Saturday. Roethlisberger will travel the country to join his team and hope to start a “Sunday Night Football” game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Roethlisberger, 39, missed the Steelers’ 16-16 draw with the Detroit Lions in Week 10 after testing positive for COVID-19. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Roethlisberger is vaccinated and self-reported his symptoms before testing positive.
With Roethlisberger out of action, the Pittsburgh offense spat against Detroit, returning the ball three times and managing to score just one touchdown. Roethlisberger started his season with four touchdowns and four interceptions in his first four games, but he rebounded to throw six touchdown passes and no interceptions in his next four.
Roethlisberger’s return will be a boon for a Steelers team that rack up injuries in the second half of the 2021 season. Pittsburgh will be without cornerback Joe Haden and injury defensive player of the year TJ Watt. at the hip and knee against the Lions.
Pittsburgh sits second in the tightly-knit AFC North, which is currently led by the Baltimore Ravens 6-3. The 5-3-1 Steelers, 5-4 Cincinnati Bengals and even 5-5 Cleveland Browns are all on the heels of the Ravens.