Ben Roethlisberger Won’t Participate in Steelers’ Offseason Workouts

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PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger's return to the Pittsburgh Steelers apparently won't occur this week.

The two-time Super Bowl quarterback is not expected to join his teammates this week for voluntary offseason workouts that begin Monday, team spokesman Dave Lockett said Sunday night.

Roethlisberger has been accused of assault by a 20-year-old Georgia college student, but he has not been charged in the case. An investigation is ongoing, and it is possible the Steelers advised Roethlisberger not to show up to avoid creating a distraction.

Roethlisberger also is being sued in Nevada by a woman who is accusing him of assaulting her in a Lake Tahoe hotel in 2008. He has strongly denied the accusation and has filed a counter suit in the case.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said last week at the NFL meetings in Orlando that players who took 1,000 or more snaps last season were due to report Monday, including Roethlisberger. However, some additional Steelers veteran players in addition to Roethlisberger also aren't expected to show up this week, but Lockett did not identify them.

The conditioning work involves no on-field practicing, but instead emphasizes weight lifting and getting into football shape.

Such workouts are not open to reporters, but a large number were expected at the Steelers headquarters Monday because Roethlisberger has not commented on the Georgia incident since it occurred earlier this month.

Now, the question is when Roethlisberger will try to get back to football work.

The Steelers aren't scheduled to begin on-field practicing until April 19, when they begin OTAs — NFL shorthand for organized team activities. Such practices resemble those held during the season, and starting quarterbacks usually take part in most sessions unless they are injured.

Despite the strong start to Roethlisberger's career — he has taken the Steelers to two NFL titles and three AFC championship games in six seasons — and the estimated $66 million left on his $102 million contract, the Steelers are clearly upset with the quarterback's off-field problems.

Team president Art Rooney II has met with Roethlisberger, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also plans to meet with the quarterback at an unspecified time. Tomlin also has been in constant contact with Roethlisberger.

"We take this issue very seriously," Goodell said on March 22. "I am concerned that Ben continues to put himself in this position.

Rooney said the Steelers are "in a situation [where] we're going to let this investigation play out and then go from there."

The NFL has not said if Roethlisberger might be suspended if he is charged in the Georgia case.

Despite Roethlisberger's problems, Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said the team does not anticipate drafting a quarterback in the early rounds next month.

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