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Ben Roethlisberger to be activated off COVID-19 list, will start vs. Chargers in Week 11

We break down the news that Ben Roethlisberger is dealing with COVID-19, and what it means for Week 11.

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up before a game against the Chicago Bears at Heinz Field on November 08, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Saturday update: Steelers PR announced that Roethlisberger will be activated off the COVID-19 list this weekend, will fly separately from the team’s charter plane to LA “with the expectation of starting Sunday night vs the Chargers.”

Friday update: It looks like Roethlisberger is trending towards playing Sunday against the Chargers.

There is still the small hurdle of a COVID test Saturday but assuming Roethlisberger clears that test he’ll be starting against Los Angeles in Week 11.

Thursday update: Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada says Roethlisberger is preparing like he’s going to play this week, per Brooke Pryor. He needs two consecutive negative COVID-19 tests split across at least 24 hours to be cleared. The team has until Saturday afternoon to activate him off the COVID IR for Sunday’s game.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters on Tuesday that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has the opportunity to be available for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. He’ll need to provide two negative tests across at least 24 hours.

Tomlin added that the plan for this week is to build around backup QB Mason Rudolph’s talent, but if Roethlisberger can “get on a moving train”, he’s trending toward being available.

Fantasy football implications

The Steelers’ offense could’ve used Roethlisberger in last Sunday’s tie against the Detroit Lions. Pittsburgh had to start Rudolph at quarterback after Roethlisberger was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Rudolph completed 30-of-50 passes for 242 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.

Despite Rudolph struggles, the Steelers still found a way to get Najee Harris the ball, who had 105 yards on 26 carries, along with four receptions for 28 yards. If Rudolph has to play on Sunday against the Chargers, we should expect to see a ton of Harris on offense.