Steelers Rumors

Ben Roethlisberger Did Not Suffer Concussion

Although Ben Roethlisberger wound up in concussion protocol for the first time in his career, the Steelers quarterback avoided major trouble. 

He did not suffer a concussion, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Mike Tomlin confirmed as much. Roethlisberger is expected to resume action soon. Marcus Gilbert being shoved into Roethlisberger dislodged the quarterback’s helmet, but he did not sustain a concussion as a result.

The Steelers will hold their 15th-year starter out of their second preseason game, which is Thursday night, but Schefter notes the plan is for him to take the field in Pittsburgh’s third exhibition contest.

Mason Rudolph will start for the Steelers tonight, with Joshua Dobbs expected to play throughout the second half. Dobbs may well be auditioning for other teams, with Roethlisberger and Rudolph locks to make the roster and Landry Jones having served as Big Ben’s backup for two years now.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Doctors Clear Big Ben

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger landed in concussion protocol after absorbing a big hit in practice, but he is doing fine now and is expected to resume football activities soon, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes. Remarkably, this was Roethlisberger’s first time in the protocol, and fortunately it was a short stay for the 36-year-old.

Roethlisberger has said that his “long-term brain health” would play a role in the length of his NFL career, so the good news was certainly welcome for the Steelers QB.

Ben Roethlisberger In Concussion Protocol

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is in the concussion protocol after absorbing a hit during Thursday’s practice, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.

Roethlisberger reportedly ran into right tackle Marcus Gilbert and linebacker Keion Adams while rolling to the right, and was subsequently escorted off the field by trainers. The veteran quarterback, whom Fowler notes last suffered a concussion during the 2015 campaign, hadn’t been scheduled to play in Pittsburgh’s Thursday tilt against Green Bay, but Roethlisberger’s availability for the remainder of the preseason is now in question.

Based on a typical concussion timeline, the 36-year-old Roethlisberger will return in time for Week 1 of the regular season. If complications arise, however, the Steelers would turn to backup Landry Jones, with recent draft picks Mason Rudolph and Joshua Dobbs in reserve.

As Fowler adds, Roethlisberger has previously stated that “long-term brain health” would play a role in the length of his NFL career. Roethlisbeger reportedly mulled retirement after the 2016 season, but told teammates in January he’d like to play at least three more years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/13/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Signed: DT Simeyon Robinson

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans 

Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: C Oni Omoile
  • Waived/Injured: OL Parker Collins

Washington Redskins

  • Signed: WR Dan Williams III

Steelers Sign OT Zach Banner

The Steelers have signed free agent offensive tackle Zach Banner, the club announced today. In a corresponding roster move, Pittsburgh has waived/injured offensive lineman Kyle Meadows.

Banner, an absolutely mammoth human being at 6’9″, 360 pounds, was selected by the Colts in the fourth round of the 2017 draft. However, the USC product didn’t even make it through final cutdowns in Indianapolis, and became the highest rookie draft choice to be waived last year.

Claimed off waivers by the Browns, Banner played just 27 offensive snaps in eight games for Indianapolis before going on waivers again. He was acquired by the Panthers in March, but spent only two months on Carolina’s roster before being cut in May.

At present, the Steelers don’t appear to have any room for another offensive tackle on its 53-man roster. Alejandro Villanueva and Marcus Gilbert are locked in as Pittsburgh’s starters, while Matt Feiler and third-round rookie Chukwuma Okorafor will serve as backups. Banner’s chances with the Steelers, then, likely hinge on whether the club suffers any injuries over the next few weeks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bud Dupree In Concussion Protocol

  • Bud Dupree suffered a setback this weekend and is in concussion protocol, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). The Steelers will be without their starting right outside linebacker for a bit, per Fowler, after seeing the fourth-year player start camp strong. Anthony Chickillo and Keion Adams reside as the top backups, per Pittsburgh’s first 2018 depth chart, and will see more time while Dupree is sidelined. Adams was a 2017 seventh-round pick who did not play last season.

Steelers, Chris Boswell Talking Extension

The Steelers applied a second-round RFA tender to Chris Boswell in March but don’t appear to want their kicker back under that arrangement this season.

Boswell said negotiations between his camp and the Steelers began this week, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The fourth-year kicker’s only played for the Steelers, and he stands to be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

A report last week tabbed Boswell as an extension priority, and the Steelers are following through in hopes of keeping their kicker in the fold long-term. Boswell’s coming off a Pro Bowl season, having made 35 of 38 field goal attempts (including four game-winning tries). He saw all four of his 50-plus-yard attempts sail through the uprights as well.

It will probably take a $4MM-per-year deal (or close to it) for Pittsburgh to lock up the 27-year-old Boswell. Five kickers earn $4MM annually, and the most recent member of that club — the Panthers’ Graham Gano — signed a deal in March that came in above Justin Tucker‘s 2015 contract.

Boswell is attached to that $2.9MM RFA tender price presently. The Steelers, who couldn’t agree to an extension with Le’Veon Bell to reduce his $14.5MM 2018 cap hold, currently have just more than $4MM in cap space.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/2/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Waived: DE Ja’Von Rolland-Jones

Dallas Cowboys

Indianapolis Colts

  • Signed: G Nick Callender

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

  • Waived/injured: G Nate Theaker

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ben Roethlisberger Down 15 Pounds

  • Ben Roethlisberger is down approximately 15 pounds at Steelers camp, with Mark Kaboly of The Athletic noting the 15th-year quarterback weighs 250. Big Ben hinted at retirement following the 2016 season but reaffirmed his commitment to the Steelers after last season concluded. He’s now hinted at being interested in signing another Pittsburgh extension, with negotiations likely set for 2019 (his contract year).