Ben Roethlisberger says he’s ‘leaning towards’ playing in 2017

Ben Roethlisberger nearly gave Pittsburgh Steelers fans a heart attack back in January when he said he was considering all options for 2017, hinting that he wasn’t certain to return. The concern has since blown over a bit, but Roethlisberger hasn’t declared one way or the other what he’ll do next season.

If his recent comments are any indication of his plans, it sounds like he’ll be suiting up once again this year.

“I’m leaning towards it,” Roethlisberger said, via the Observer Reporter.

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Breathe, Pittsburgh. Big Ben will almost certainly be your starting quarterback in Week 1. Roethlisberger has been a big banged up in recent years, as he often is, but he has plenty of good years left ahead of him. He’s just 35 years old, and Tom Brady has proved quarterbacks can play at a high level until they’re 40.

Roethlisberger isn’t the quarterback Brady is, and it’s unfair to assume one player’s success means another will have the same, but Roethlisberger is still playing well at 35.

Last season, he threw for 3,819 yards, 29 touchdowns and just 13 interceptions in 14 games, though he missed time for the second straight year.