Was there any question if QB Ben Roethlisberger was going to play in the meaningless preseason finale against the Panthers on Thursday night in Carolina?

If there was a thought of him playing a series or two, just re-watch the play where Byron Leftwich broke his arm on Saturday against the Falcons. Or go back and watch him last season when he was supposed to be the starter for the first few games with Ben suspended, and Leftwich was hurt against the Panthers that cost him that chance.

Mike Tomlin is doing the right thing, keep Roethlisberger in street clothes getting him set for the opener vs the Ravens. Tomlin said Ben will not play against Carolina on Thursday, giving the starting nod to Charlie Batch followed by Dennis Dixon. “We haven’t decided the distribution of reps,” Tomlin said.

“All we have decided is that Charlie will start first and Dennis will also play.”

Roethlisberger has been very good this preseason and it seems like he and the first string offense is more than ready to go. Ben was 21 of 31 for 361 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. He has a 146.6 passer rating.

Roethlisberger had started every preseason finale in Tomlin’s first four seasons. “It’s time to start talking Baltimore and start looking at film,” Roethlisberger said.

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