Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is no stranger to talking about retirement. Now, he has an even bigger reason to do so after teammate Ryan Shazier went down with a serious back injury against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night.
“People get all over me for saying you have to contemplate every year on if you want to keep going,” Roethlisberger said during his weekly radio show on 93.7 FM. “Plays like this make you really evaluate things. That’s why I say it’s a smart thing to do. It’s a violent game. And this game (against the Bengals) always seems to be that way. It’s crazy this sport we play.”
After last season, the 35-year-old Roethlisberger spoke about the possibility of retiring but decided to return for another season. This is his 14th year in the league, but as a father of three, there is no guarantee for a 15th.
“When we talked in the offseason about evaluating and making sure, these are the reasons,” he said. “Having kids … I hope my son plays golf.”
He also will completely understand if his son does not pursue football.
“If he wants to play football, that’s fine, too. But it’s a tough sport. It’s not for everyone. If he wants to do it, I’ll encourage it. If he doesn’t, I’m just fine with that as well.”
Roethlisberger also said that he has been in Shazier’s situation, and when it happens, the first thing you think of is your family.
“You worry about family members back home,” he said.
Roethlisberger’s Steelers are 10-2 and have won seven games in a row. Pittsburgh hasn’t lost since the quarterback suggested he may not “have it anymore” following a five-interception performance, which also sparked discussion about his retirement.