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Expected to Retire From NFL, Ben Roethlisberger Says He Wants to Help ‘Expand God’s Kingdom’

Ben Roethlisberger
SteelCityHobbies, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This article originally appeared at Sports Spectrum.

The final chapter of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s long and storied NFL career was likely written Sunday night when Pittsburgh fell to the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild-card round.

Though Roethlisberger never explicitly announced he will retire, his postgame press conference implied he was not coming back for another season.

“It’s tough,” he said after the 42-21 loss. “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 was next for him, Roethlisberger did not hesitate with his answer.

“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.

The Steelers’ offense struggled to get going in the first half, as Pittsburgh’s first touchdown was a fumble return by linebacker T.J. Watt. But Roethlisberger found some rhythm in the second half, connecting with Diontae Johnson and James Washington on a pair of touchdowns.

Big Ben finished the game 29-of-44 for 215 yards, passing Brett Favre for third place on the all-time postseason passing yards list with 5,972.

If Roethlisberger does retire, his last game at Heinz Field was a 26-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns. He thanked God for allowing him to make one final memory in Pittsburgh following the win.

“I’m just so thankful for the fans, my family obviously. The good Lord has blessed me in so many ways,” he told ESPN on the field right after the game.

RELATED: ‘The Good Lord Has Blessed Me’—Steelers QB, Likely Retiring, Thanks God After Win

Pittsburgh’s franchise leader in every major statistical category related to quarterbacks, Roethlisberger was drafted 11th overall in 2004 and went 13-0 as a starter during the regular season as a rookie.

The Steelers have made the playoffs 12 times with Roethlisberger under center, winning the Super Bowl in 2005 and 2008, and reaching it again in 2010. He led the NFL in passing yards twice (2014, 2018) and is a six-time Pro Bowler.

The Steelers’ offense struggled to get going in the first half, as Pittsburgh’s first touchdown was a fumble return by linebacker T.J. Watt. But Roethlisberger found some rhythm in the second half, connecting with Diontae Johnson and James Washington on a pair of touchdowns.

Big Ben finished the game 29-of-44 for 215 yards, passing Brett Favre for third place on the all-time postseason passing yards list with 5,972.

If Roethlisberger does retire, his last game at Heinz Field was a 26-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns. He thanked God for allowing him to make one final memory in Pittsburgh following the win.

“I’m just so thankful for the fans, my family obviously. The good Lord has blessed me in so many ways,” he told ESPN on the field right after the game.

RELATED: ‘The Good Lord Has Blessed Me’—Steelers QB, Likely Retiring, Thanks God After Win

Pittsburgh’s franchise leader in every major statistical category related to quarterbacks, Roethlisberger was drafted 11th overall in 2004 and went 13-0 as a starter during the regular season as a rookie.

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