Without Ben Roethlisberger at the helm, the Pittsburgh Steelers stumbled along to one of their most disappointing results of the 2021 season. A series of late mistakes and a lackluster defensive performance led to the 5-3 Steelers tying the winless Detroit Lions.
Backup quarterback Mason Rudolph got the start under center and played admirably, but it certainly felt like Roethlisberger would have given the Steelers a better chance to win. That’s why a Sunday report from FOX Sports inside Jay Glazer is even more gutting for fans in Pittsburgh.
Glazer shared before the Steelers-Lions game got underway on Sunday that he “doesn’t see” the veteran quarterback coming off the COVID-19 list before next weekend’s game. The 39-year-old would need two negative tests at least 24 hours apart and be asymptomatic, which Glazer feels is unlikely considering Roethlisberger didn’t self-report his symptoms until Saturday.
As a result of the insider’s report, Steelers fans are scrambling to figure out what the plan at quarterback should be against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The two options? Stick with Rudolph or swap in former Washington Football Team signal caller Dwayne Haskins.
“If Glazer’s reporting about Big Ben missing the Chargers game is right, I would start Dwayne Haskins. What else do you have to lose?” Andrew Fillipponi of 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh wrote on Twitter after the game.
If Glazer’s reporting about Big Ben missing the Chargers game is right, I would start Dwayne Haskins. What else do you have to lose?
— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) November 14, 2021
Quite a few Steelers agreed with Fillipponi’s assessment of the situation and discussed how the former first-round pick could give the Pittsburgh offense more explosiveness in a match-up with the high-powered Chargers.
“I would give him a try for next week,” one fan wrote, vouching for Haskins. “Mason was below average, and if Detroit was a little better, this would’ve been an outright loss. Lucky to get a tie today. With Ben, we would’ve won by 10 points at least.”
I agree with this 100% https://t.co/A7SlkrZnQc
— patrick (@muldowney) November 14, 2021
However, not everyone subscribed to the idea that Haskins should get the start if Roethlisberger is out. Many Steelers fans pointed out that Rudolph wasn’t the primary reason for the disappointing tie on Sunday.
MASON DID NOT LOSE THIS GAME! https://t.co/7dpmtAmftd
— Lord Stanley’s Cup (@yannustev1) November 14, 2021
Dwayne Haskins would be huge in stopping 200 yards of rushing in the first half…more cutting edge opinions by the Pittsburgh Sports Clown Prince https://t.co/GRTo3HIdTA
— Andrew Kurzawski CPT (@CoachKurzawski) November 14, 2021
It wasn’t on Mason minus a couple bad throws. Defense sucked against the run, tackling was atrocious and 2 key fumbles late was the difference. Stop your hate for Mason. Let’s hear your criticism of Muth who deserves a lot more.
— Mikey Aces (@Mikey5Aces) November 14, 2021
Rudolph ended Sunday’s tie going 30-50 with 242 yards, a touchdown and an interception. However he wasn’t to blame for the loss. Two fumbles in overtime by Steelers skill players prevented the 26-year-old Rudolph from pulling out the gritty win.
Haskins is an intriguing option for Pittsburgh going forward, as his natural talent was rarely the issue in Washington. His decision-making and a lack of leadership ultimately led to a divorce with the team that drafted him, but joining the Steelers was meant to give him a clean slate.
It’s unclear what Tomlin will decide and it’s possible that Roethisberger could get healthy in time to play. The Steelers will need to prepare for just about every outcome this upcoming week before meeting the Chargers in LA next Sunday.
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