In the aftermath of the Pittsburgh Steelers' 23-20 overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football, rumors swirled on social media accusing Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger of looking at a cell phone during the game. For those who haven't seen the video, it is below:
For those who might look at this and think, "Who cares if he is looking at his cell phone?!" Well, it is against NFL rules for anyone, players or coaches, to utilize cell phones on the sidelines. In fact, Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer was fined and suspended for four games due to use of a cell phone on the sideline in 2014.
Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was initially fined $10 thousand dollars for using a cell phone on the sideline in 2011; however, after an appeal, the fine was absolved when it was discovered he simply used it to call his wife to tell her he was okay after being removed form the game with a potential concussion.
Steelers Public Relations spokesperson Burt Lauten countered these gathering rumors by telling media Roethlisberger was simply looking at a black arm band with the plays on them as he heard them called on the headset he was wearing.
The NFL recently echoed that story with the following statement: "Our on-site representatives looked into the matter and confirmed Roethlisberger was holding a black armband with a clear cover that contained the Steelers play sheet. It was not a cell phone."
Several fans of other NFL franchises will be disappointed in hearing their conspiracy theory not coming to fruition, but the Steelers, and their fans, now look ahead to Roethlisberger's eventual return to the playing field in the coming weeks.