Coming off a convincing defeat against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, Ben Roethlisberger says he's not sure how much longer he's willing to play. On Tuesday, Roethlisberger, who is currently signed through the 2019 season, spoke with the Cook and Poni Show in Pittsburgh and he was asked a fairly straightforward question: "Ben, how much do you feel like you have left?" To which he gave a fairly honest answer: "I dunno."
It's one of those things that I was talking to my wife about it last night, and I was talking to my agent about it, and coach about it; I'm gonna take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options, to consider health and family, and things like that and just kinda take some time away to evaluate next season, if there's going to be a next season, all those things. I think at my point in my career, and my age, I think that's the prudent and smart thing to do every year.
Ben was then asked point-blank if he was going to play next season. He paused, and reiterated: "Like I said, I'm gonna take some time [nervous, slightly annoyed chuckle] and evaluate, you know, with my family and just really do a lot of praying about it and make sure it's the right thing for me and my family."
It sounded like injuries, specifically head injuries are weighing on his mind and that is the reason he's taking some time to think about his future. He made a point of noting that he was not saying he wasn't coming back, but he was just thinking about it.
One of the things that makes Roethlisberger so good is his ability to shrug off hits that you'd expect would take down another quarterback. Where Aaron Rodgers is able to extend plays with his slipperiness, Roethlisberger extends them by simply absorbing hits. That's got to take a toll on his body even when it doesn't look like it does. At age 34, after a 13-year career in which he's never played less than 12 games, maybe he's getting tired of it.