Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger quashed rumours about his possible retirement with a Christmas Day tweet.
“Contrary to recent reports out there about my football future and my ‘uncertainty’ about playing again, I am working hard and am more determined than ever to come back stronger and better than ever next year!” Roethlisberger posted.
Roethlisberger, 37, is recovering from surgery in late September on his right (throwing) shoulder.
He was injured during the Steelers’ Sept. 15 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. In two games this year, he completed 56.5% of his passes for 351 yards with no touchdown passes and one interception.
The 16th-year veteran has thrown for 56,545 yards (eighth in NFL history) and 363 touchdowns (eighth) in 218 games (216 starts). He guided the Steelers to Super Bowl titles after the 2005 and 2008 seasons, and he made another Super Bowl appearance after the 2011 season.
With Roethlisberger hurt, Pittsburgh (8-7) has managed to stay alive in the AFC playoff picture entering Sunday’s finale at the Baltimore Ravens (13-2). The Steelers need to win and hope the Tennessee Titans lose at the Houston Texans.
Devlin Hodges will make his sixth start under centre for the Steelers. He has completed 67.4% of his passes for 968 yards with five touchdowns and eight interceptions.