Steelers Rumors

Steelers Place Ben Roethlisberger On IR, Promote QB Devlin Hodges

Mike Tomlin confirmed Ben Roethlisberger will miss the rest of this season due to the elbow injury he sustained Sunday, and the Steelers moved quickly to adjust their quarterback depth chart. The team placed Roethlisberger on IR and promoted Devlin Hodges from its practice squad.

Recently re-signed to Pittsburgh’s practice squad, Hodges was with the team in the preseason. He completed 20 of 38 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Hodges won the Walter Payton Award, given to Division I-FCS’ top player, in 2016 while at Samford.

This will mark a major change for the Steelers, who in 2018 had Josh Dobbs installed as Roethlisberger’s backup. Dobbs is now in Jacksonville, and Hodges will back up Mason Rudolph. The Steelers just extended Big Ben this offseason. He is under contract through the 2021 season.

Pittsburgh plans to look for another quarterback, with the likely hope the to-be-determined acquisition will be stationed between Rudolph and Hodges on the depth chart, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets.

The Steelers took Rudolph in the 2018 third round. Big Ben was critical of the pick, as it used an asset on a developmental quarterback rather than a position player who could help immediately. Unless the Steelers bring in a veteran backup, they will find out plenty about Rudolph this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger Done For Year

The Steelers’ worst fears have been confirmed. On Monday morning, head coach Mike Tomlin announced that Ben Roethlisberger‘s season is over. 

The quarterback was hoping to avoid surgery after suffering an elbow injury over the weekend, but doctors came back with bad news after looking at his scans. With that, Mason Rudolph now becomes the Steelers’ starting QB.

The Steelers traded Josh Dobbs to the Jaguars last week, leaving Rudolph as their only other signal caller on the roster. The club is now expected to promote Devlin Hodges from the practice squad to serve as Rudolph’s backup, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter).

Before this, Roethlisberger hadn’t missed a game due to injury since Week 7 of the 2016 season. Obviously, this wasn’t a good time for his luck to run out – the Steelers are 0-2 after being blown out by the Patriots in the season opener and Sunday’s tough loss to the Seahawks.

Roethlisberger might not have the support of former teammate Antonio Brown, but he was sharp in 2018 with career-highs in completions (452), pass attempts (675), passing yards (5,129), and touchdowns (34). He also started in all 16 games, something he hadn’t done since the 2014 campaign. Though, in the interest of equal time, we should mention that he also led the NFL with 16 interceptions.

Advanced metrics lauded Roethlisberger’s work as well, as he finished fourth in Total QBR and eighth in adjusted net yards per attempt. Meanwhile, Roethlisberger ranked fifth in Football Outsiders‘ DYAR, which measures value over a replacement level player, and eighth in DVOA, meaning he was effective on a per-play basis.

Thanks to the three-year extension he inked in the offseason, Roethlisberger is under contract through the 2021 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger To Miss Time?

A decision is expected today on whether Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will need elbow surgery, league sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Big Ben, naturally, wants to avoid the operation, but that will ultimately be determined by medical professionals. 

Roethlisberger has not missed a game due to injury since Week 7 of the 2016 season. He’s always been tough, durable, and able to play through the pain, but this injury probably sideline him for at least some time.

Surgery or no surgery, the Steelers figure to turn to Mason Rudolph as their starter beginning in Week 3. After Big Ben exited, Rudolph went 12-of-19 for 112 yards, two scores, and an INT.

This, of course, is the last thing the Steelers wanted. They’re 0-2 to start the year and, making matters worse, they’re waiting for word on the knee injury suffered by running back James Conner.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Antonio Brown Notes: 9/15/19

Another day, another batch of Antonio Brown news. We learned a few days ago that the NFL would meet with Brown’s accuser, Britney Taylor, this coming week, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that the summit will actually take place Monday. Rapoport says the league wants to conduct the investigation as quickly as possible given that the regular season is now underway, so even if the legal side of this matter drags on for a bit, the football side of things may be resolved soon.

  • Rapoport says that another football player, currently in his first year in the league, was in the house with Taylor and Brown when one of the incidents detailed in Taylor’s lawsuit allegedly took place. As such, that as-yet-unnamed rookie will also be required to speak with league investigators.
  • Although the NFL’s meeting with Taylor could lead to a number of outcomes for Brown — including a stint on the commissioner’s exempt list, a release from the Patriots, etc. — New England is expected to feed him the ball for however long he is on the field. Rapoport notes that Brown has stayed at the team facility until 10pm or later most days during the week to catch passes from backup QB Jarrett Stidham and to continue learning the offense.
  • RapSheet also writes that Brown and Taylor had been engaged in settlement talks for months, but Taylor filed a lawsuit when the two sides could not come to a settlement agreement.
  • ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports that neither Brown nor anyone on his behalf will attend the NFL’s meeting with Taylor (Twitter link). Taylor will ultimately release a statement to the media, but there will be no ETA on that statement until her meeting with the league — which may last several days — is over.
  • We knew that the Patriots were interested in Brown as soon as it became clear that the Steelers might move on from him, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that New England was prepared to part with a first-round pick and another pick or player of significance before learning that the Steelers were unwilling to deal AB to the Pats.
  • Reports on Friday suggested that neither the Patriots nor the Raiders were aware of Taylor’s allegations against Brown before the lawsuit was filed, and a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette indicates that the Steelers were not aware either.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/10/19

Baltimore Ravens

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

 

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/10/19

Today’s practice squad moves will be posted here:

Baltimore Ravens

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Redskins

Contract Details: Tyreek Hill, Joe Haden

Here are some contract details on a pair of recently-signed extensions:

  • Tyreek Hill, WR (Chiefs): Three years, $54MM. Injury guarantee is $35.26MM. $18.34MM guaranteed as of tomorrow (via $5.8MM signing bonus, 2019 minimum base salary, 2020 minimum base salary, $11MM roster bonus (paid in 2020)). Cashflow includes $6.52MM (2019), $16.2MM (2020), $15.4MM (2021). Team has flexibility to go year-by-year, roster bonuses determined early in league year. Details via Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com on Twitter.
  • Joe Haden, CB (Steelers): Two years, $22MM. $13.8MM signing bonus, dropping 2019 salary from $10MM to $1.2MM (with a $3MM roster bonus). Non-guaranteed $7MM via salary/bonuses for 2020 and 2021. Cap numbers: $8.772MM (2019), $12.6MM (2020), $12.6MM (2021). Details via ESPN’s Dan Graziano on Twitter.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/9/19

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers Trade Josh Dobbs To Jaguars

The Jaguars have a new quarterback. On Monday, the Jaguars traded a fifth-round pick to the Steelers in exchange for Joshua Dobbs, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

The Jaguars lost their brand new starter, Nick Foles, to a clavicle fracture in the first quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs. After that, Gardner Minshew and performed well, even though the team was unable to keep up with the Chiefs’ relentless offense.

Minshew will continue as the Jags’ starter, but Dobbs will be on hand to hold the clipboard in support. Prior to the trade, the Jags did not have another QB on the roster.

Dobbs, a former fourth-round pick, was Ben Roethlisberger‘s top backup last year and appeared in five games as a reserve. This year, he lost his footing to Mason Rudolph, making his superfluous in Pittsburgh.

Minshew, with Dobbs as his backup, will lead the Jaguars against the Texans in Week Two.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Glenn, Robinson, Haden, Harris

Bengals left tackle Cordy Glenn has been ruled out of the team’s Week 1 game, Ben Baby of ESPN.com relays. Back-up left tackle Andre Smith will take over duties and will face a fearsome defensive front in Seattle that includes newcomers Ziggy Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Jaguars LT Cam Robinson is not playing vs. the Chiefs but it’s not the knee that he recently had surgery on that’s keeping him out, as Phillip Heilman of The Athletic relays (Twitter links). Robinson’s right knee is now the issue.
  • Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (Twitter link) has details on Joe Hadens extension with the Steelers. The pact comes with a signing bonus of $13.8MM.
  • Don’t expect an extension for Broncos CB Chris Harris anytime soon. Troy Renck of ABC Denver (Twitter link) hears that an extension is not in the team’s plans right now, as John Elway & Co. will wait until the offseason to handle the matter.