Tomlin: Roethlisberger, Jones to Play Against Titans

Steelers coach addresses injury situation

Josh Rowntree
August 23, 2018 - 2:31 pm
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin at 2018 press conference

Josh Rowntree-93.7 The Fan

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Ben Roethlisberger will get his first game action of the preseason when the Steelers host Tennessee Saturday, this according to Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin. 

“We’re going to play Ben, we’re going to play Landry [Jones],” Tomlin said Thursday. “We’ll see how it goes from there. We’ll harden it up as we get closer. But those two, specifically, are scheduled to play.” 

Tomlin, however, could not say if the Steelers will use their third and fourth string quarterbacks, Joshua Dobbs and rookie Mason Rudolph, at all in the game. 

“We’ve got a plan, but we’re also light enough on our feet that there’s certain things we want to see and that plan is subject to change,” Tomlin said of how he’ll handle personnel in the third preseason game. “I’m not going to back myself into a corner. We’re going to give those guys an opportunity to show that they’re game ready.”

The Steelers have tried to get players, particularly young ones, acclimated to a normal game week with their preparation leading up to Saturday. 

It’s also needing to make adjustments from a 51-34 loss to Green Bay last Thursday. But Tomlin has put that in the rearview mirror. 

“You know, I haven’t really even thought about that,” he said of the performance. “Last week is last week. [There was] less game planning and so forth. 

“I’m just more interested in how they’re performing this week relative to this week. You’ve got to be careful comparing performances this time of year because your agenda is somewhat different from time to time.”

On the injury front, guard Ramon Foster, cornerback Mike Hilton and tight ends Xavier Grimble and Vance McDonald will miss the game. 

“Our mindset is that those that are healthy are going to play,” Tomlin said. “We’re going to leave the light on for those who are partial participants.”

Those whose statuses could be considered up-in-the-air for the game are safety Morgan Burnett, linebacker T.J. Watt, defensive tackle Dan McCullers and wide receiver Antonio Brown, who has been held out of some practices with what is believed to be an unspecified injury.

“I won’t get into the details because it’s not that time of year,” Tomlin said of Brown. “We’re just managing him from a rep standpoint with his participation. We’ll decided as we get closer to game time whether or not he’s playing in the game. 

“He wants to do more, and things of that nature. We’re just being smart about how we’re going about the process of preparing him for the season.”

Kickoff is set for just after 4:00 p.m. at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh will be tested by a respectable team in the Titans with a mobile quarterback and playmakers on defense, something Tomlin is hoping his team is ready for.

“We’ve just got to play varsity ball,’ he said. “On offense that’s taking care of the football, dominating situational football, red zone, third downs, short yardage. And playing with a tempo. A tempo we select. 

On the defensive side of the ball, it’s being stout against the run, minimizing big plays and winning possession downs.”

Hear all of what Tomlin had to say at his weekly press conference below.