Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Monday night’s game against the Cleveland Browns could be his last at Heinz Field.
“I don’t ever speak in definites or guarantees,” Roethlisberger said Thursday. “That’s just not what I’ve ever done, or who I am. But looking at the bigger picture, I would say that all signs are pointing that this could be it.”
The 39-year-old insisted that he won’t make any final decisions until after the season, and Roethlisberger noted that his team remains in the playoff hunt.
But for now, the veteran quarterback publicly acknowledged for the first time that he could play his final home game Monday.
“I’ll address the definite answer at some point down the road,” Roethlisberger said. “My focus is on winning this game. If it is indeed my last regular-season game [at Heinz Field], it’s going to be one of the most important games of my career.”
Roethlisberger, the No. 11 overall pick in the 2004 draft, is the franchise leader in just about every major statistical passing category. He has led Pittsburgh to three Super Bowl appearances and two championships in a franchise-record 18 seasons with the organization.
If this is it for Roethlisberger, he will retire in the top 10 in NFL history in three major statistical categories, fifth in yards passing (63,721), fifth in regular-season wins (163), and he’s eighth with 416 touchdown passes. Roethlisberger is 91-31 during the regular season at Heinz Field, the third-most wins by a quarterback at a venue, trailing only Tom Brady and John Elway.
Roethlisberger could be making his last start at Heinz Field against a team he has handled for years. It’s been an uneven season for Roethlisberger, who has thrown for 3,373 yards, 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions. But one of the highlights came in a 15-10 victory at Cleveland on Halloween, his 25th victory in 28 games against the Browns.