Ben Roethlisberger is prepping for his 14th NFL season, but he still has his eye on the ultimate finish line.
His reasons? Well, they probably won’t surprise you.
“Age,” Roethlisberger told the paper. “It’s just, it’s 14 years; that’s a long time. I think the average life expectancy in the NFL is three years, maybe 3 1/2 now.
“I’ve been blessed to do this a long time. I think it’s just seeing my kids growing up, and in the offseason I love getting to spend time with them, and then I come here and football season just has to take up so much of your time.”
In the wake of Boston University’s recently published chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) study, it’s easy to understand why some players might want to retire earlier than expected. The study’s shocking statistics reportedly even played a role in 26-year-old Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel announcing his retirement Thursday.
And, unsurprisingly, health is one of the biggest reasons why Roethlisberger, and his wife, are mulling the 35-year-old’s future.
“Just all those things combined — being healthy, being able to play catch with my kids,” Roethlisberger said. “I feel good mentally, I know this new study that came out that 90 percent (of NFL) players’ brains who were studied had CTE.
“There’s a lot of scary things, and I think my wife would be OK if I hung it up, too. But I still love the guys, I still love the game, so it was right for me to come back and give it everything I have this year.”
So, enjoy watching “Big Ben” play while you can, Steelers fans because it certainly seems those days are numbered.
Thumbnail photo via Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports Images
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