Roethlisberger, who contemplated retirement in the offseason, initially dismissed the notion to reporters on Wednesday that the upcoming divisional round playoff game versus the Jacksonville Jaguars will be his last at Heinz Field.
“I don’t think it is my last, but I’m not thinking about that right now,” the 35-year-old Roethlisberger said of Sunday’s rematch with the Jaguars. “I’m going to go out and play this one and give everything I have.”
The second-seeded Steelers would advance to the AFC Championship Game next week with a win over the third-seeded Jaguars. Pittsburgh would travel to New England should the top-seeded Patriots dispatch fifth-seeded Tennessee on Saturday, or host the Titans if they pull off the upset.
Roethlisberger endured a disastrous five-interception performance — two of which were returned for touchdowns — in a 30-9 loss to Jacksonville on Oct. 8. After the contest, he openly told reporters that “maybe I don’t have it anymore.”
The Steelers’ all-time leader in passing yards proved that he did late in the regular season, finishing with 16 touchdown passes and only five interceptions over the final six games.
Roethlisberger committed to a 14th NFL season in April, but has yet to reveal his hand for the future.
“You have to treat every game like it could be your last because you never know when it is,” Roethlisberger said. “We saw an example obviously earlier this season with Ryan (Shazier). You never know when it could be your last. I’m hoping it’s not his last but you have to go out and play every play and enjoy every play and every game like it could be your last.”