Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers’ Tomlin “proceeding with assumption” Roethlisberger will play this season

(USA TODAY Sports)

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is assuming that he’ll have veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leading his offense during the 2017 season.

“I am proceeding with that assumption,” Tomlin said Tuesday while attending the owners meetings in Phoenix, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB. “I don’t know that there’s a line in the dirt, but I guess we’ll know when we come to it.

Tomlin has stayed in communication with Roethlisberger in recent months but said he hasn’t asked Roethlisberger directly if he intends on returning to play.

Roethlisberger told 93.7 The Fan in late January that he would weigh his options and “if there’s gonna be a next year.” In mid-March, however, Roethlisberger told the crowd at Ignite Men’s Conference at Liberty University that he’s “leaning toward” playing.

The Steelers have aggressively evaluated draft-eligible quarterbacks in recent years and will do so again this year, Tomlin said.

When asked about Roethlisberger, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he’s “quite sure” Roethlisberger will be under center for Pittsburgh in 2017.

“Put it this way — we’re preparing for the Steelers right now, and we’re preparing for No. 7,” Harbaugh said.

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