Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced on Tuesday that the team will be resting starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the final game of the regular season.
The Steelers have already clinched the top spot in the AFC North and are playoff-bound, meaning that the results of Sunday’s game won’t change that.
Because of that, the team has decided to give Roethlisberger a break and make sure that he is well-rested and healthy for the playoffs.
Starting for the Steelers on Sunday will be backup Mason Rudolph, who saw significant playing time last year when Roethlisberger was hurt but failed to impress.
The Steelers and Buffalo Bills both have 12-3 records, but the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, have already clinched the top seed in the AFC, giving them home-field advantage and a first-round bye in the playoffs.
The Bills also beat the Steelers in Week 14, which means that they own the tiebreaker and are almost assured the second seed in the AFC.
The Steelers will be playing the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, who should be very happy that Roethlisberger won’t be playing since they need a win if they want to have a chance of qualifying for the playoffs.
If Cleveland beats Pittsburgh, they will be making their first playoff appearance since 2002.