Longtime quarterback Ben Roethlisberger may have played his final game with the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs 42-21 in the AFC's wild-card round.
While Roethlisberger has not officially announced his retirement from the NFL, his post-game press conference implied that he was not returning next season.
"It's tough," he told reporters. "But I'm proud to play with these guys. God has blessed me with an ability to throw a football and has blessed me to play in the greatest city, in Pittsburgh, with the greatest fans and the greatest football team and players. It's just been truly a blessing, and I'm so thankful to Him for the opportunity that He's given me."
When asked what's the next, Roethlisberger said he hopes to focus more on his family and serving God, Sports Spectrum reports.
"I'm going to do everything I can to be the best husband and father I can be and try and expand God's Kingdom," he said.
Despite Sunday's loss, Roethlisberger holds a win in what was likely the final home game in his 18-season career. Earlier this month, The Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns 26-14 at Heinz Field. After the game, Roethlisberger thanked God for giving him another great memory in Pittsburgh.
"I'm just so thankful for the fans, my family obviously. The good Lord has blessed me in so many ways," he told ESPN following the game.
Roethlisberger, 39, was drafted by the Steelers in 2004 after playing college football at Miami University. If he decides to step away from the NFL for good, Roethlisberger will end his career with multiple accolades, including two Superbowl victories and leading the NFL in passing yards twice (2014, 2018). He is also a six-time Pro-Bowler.
According to Sports Center, Roethlisberger would finish his career with the 3rd most 4th quarter comebacks in NFL history, and the 5th most wins as a starting quarterback.
Roethlisberger, a Christian, has become more outspoken about his faith in recent years. At the end of the 2019 regular season, he shared his testimony with teammates and other members of the Steelers team.
A year later, Roethlisberger spoke at the annual ManUp Conference in 2020, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Three years ago, I got baptized," he said at the conference. "I was baptized as a kid; my parents took me as a baby. But I didn't make that decision. So three years ago now, I made the decision to be baptized because I felt like I needed to do that. I wanted to have a closer walk, a better relationship with Jesus, with my wife, with my kids, with my family — become a better person."
"So I think the person that brought me to Him was Jesus," he continued. "Jesus is the One who brought me back to Him, and I'm so thankful for it because I feel I'm a better Christian, a better husband and a better father today because of His forgiveness of me."
Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Joe Sargent/Stringer
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.