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Ben Roethlisberger: Steelers 'got short end of the stick' with postponed game after Titans outbreak

Jason Owens
·2-min read

A COVID-19 outbreak among the Tennessee Titans forced the Pittsburgh Steelers to change their plans.

Ben Roethlisberger is not happy about it.

The Steelers were on a roll heading into Week 4, riding a swarming defense and a resurgent Roethlisberger to a 3-0 start. They were scheduled for a showdown of AFC unbeatens against the Titans in Week 4 before the outbreak changed those plans.

At least 20 members of the Titans organization tested positive for COVID-19, and their game against the Steelers was postponed to Week 7. The Steelers lost their Week 4 momentum and their midseason bye because of something happening in Tennessee.

Roethlisberger irked by schedule adjustments for Titans game

“Of course, we got the short end of the stick,” Roethlisberger told reporters on Wednesday as the Steelers prepared for a Week 5 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

After the Titans game was postponed, the NFL sent a memo to teams that breaks in COVID-19 protocol that force schedule changes could result in forfeited games. The NFL is expected to penalize the Titans for breaking safety protocols.

The Titans could be at risk of missing Week 5 against the Buffalo Bills after a report that players held an unsanctioned workout away from team facilities after the outbreak. It’s the type of scenario that could force the NFL’s hand to enforce a forfeit.

If it does, Roethlisberger doesn’t expect that the NFL will “consider forfeiting our game.”

Ben Roethlisberger is irked about the adjustments required because of the Titans' COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger is irked about the adjustments required because of the Titans' COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Roethlisberger bugged by break in routine

Roethlisberger is also upset at the break in routine as he’s returned this season from an elbow injury and offseason surgery that cost him all but two games last season.

“The league already tried to slow it down, so I guess I’ll start over from scratch and hope this week I didn’t take too many steps backward,” he said. “I guess we’ll just see how it goes this week.”

Roethlisberger said he spent the unexpected downtime throwing every day and playing catch with his son. The 17-season NFL veteran told reporters that he’s maintaining strict COVID-19 protocols at home as some teams loosen regulations about fans and guests of players in the stands at games.

“In the Roethlisberger family, we're not changing anything,” he said. “No guests are coming in town. But there are a few challenges that have been presented and so hopefully guys can continue to be as cautious and as careful as we have been to this point.”

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