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Ben Roethlisberger announces return for 2017 NFL season

Ben Roethlisberger has ended months of speculations concerning his NFL future by announcing he’ll return to the Pittsburgh Steelers for the 2017 season.

The announcement that Roethlisberger would return for a 14th NFL season was made via the Twitter account of the quarterback’s official website.

Roethlisberger fueled retirement rumors shortly after the Steelers’ loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game by refusing to commit to playing in 2017, saying during a radio interview he would be “praying a lot” over the decision.

Both Steelers president Art Rooney II and general manager Kevin Colbert expressed optimism in February that Roethlisberger wouldn’t retire.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, however, seemed to be hedging his bets a little about Big Ben’s return, saying in March, “Guys can’t play forever and he acknowledges that and we acknowledge that.” Tomlin did indicate, though, that the Steelers were “proceeding” under the notion Roethlisberger would be back after saying he was “not alarmed” by the quarterback’s retirement talk.

As recently as a few weeks ago, Roethlisberger still was expressing uncertainty, although he indicated he was “leaning towards” returning for the 2017 season.

Roethlisberger obviously has enjoyed a Hall of Fame-caliber career, winning two Super Bowls while being tabbed as one of the toughest players to ever play the quarterback position.

That said, while still more than capable of performing at an elite level, Roethlisberger has endured countless injuries. But with every time Big Ben another opportunity was provided to prove yet again his renowned toughness and remarkably quick healing ability.

With all that in mind, it’s not surprising Big Ben seriously contemplated ending his NFL career. Although it goes without saying both the Steelers and their fans probably are breathing sighs of relief over Friday’s announcement.

[Steeler Depot]

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