Pittsburgh Steelers fans, rejoice! Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has been with the team since 2004, has said that he is “leaning towards” returning to play another season of football. The announcement came over the weekend when he spoke at the Ignite Men’s Impact Weekend Conference.

Big Ben’s retirement consideration

Roethlisberger, better known to his fans as “Big Ben,” announced on a radio show earlier this year that he wasn’t sure if he was going to return to play after the 2016-2017 season wrapped. He said he would take the offseason to “consider all options,” including his health and family, before deciding if he would return to play for the Steelers for another season.

He added that at this point in his life, taking all options into consideration is a “prudent and smart thing to do every year.”

Fans and Steelers staff worried

This announcement from Big Ben caused Steelers fans to freak out and wonder what their team would do without their star quarterback. The Steelers' staff was also worried, although they didn't expect him to actually retire.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and team general manager Kevin Colbert announced at the time that they would come up with a plan should Roethlisberger decide to leave. Although they did not specifically say what they were going to do, they said that they would “plan and react accordingly.” However, there were no plans to try and find a replacement quarterback during this year’s draft.

Big Ben’s rocky year

It is no secret that the 2016-2017 season was a rocky one for Big Ben. Although he had back-to-back 300 year passing performances during weeks four and five of the NFL season (against the Chiefs and the Jets) and helped lead the team to several touchdowns, he ended up suffering a knee injury during a game against the Miami Dolphins in week six.

This led to him leaving the game and undergoing surgery later that season. As a result, he was expected to miss four to six weeks of playing, but felt well enough to return to play against the Baltimore Ravens in week nine.

It is unclear if his injury had any role in his decision to consider retirement, but for now, Steelers fans can rest easy knowing that Big Ben is more than likely to return to play for another year.