3 things Washington fans should watch for in Steelers-Chargers originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Los Angeles Chargers will welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to SoFi Stadium for Sunday Night Football. The Chargers are coming off a 27-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Steelers, meanwhile, had a disappointing tie against the Detriot Lions.
Washington Football doesn't have either of the two teams on their remaining schedule for 2021, but with this being a nationally televised game, there will be plenty of eyes on this game as it pins two teams fighting for a playoff spot.
Here are the three things Washington Football should watch for when the Steelers face the Chargers.
The return of Ben Roethlisberger
Roethlisberger had to miss the game between the Steelers and the Lions because the veteran quarterback was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. However, the 39-year-old has cleared protocols and will be activated for the game against the Chargers.
Although Roethlisberger hasn't been the best this season, he gives the Steelers the best chance to win, considering that the alternative is Mason Rudolph, who didn't provide much confidence in the draw against the Lions last week. The Steelers quarterback has thrown for 1,986 yards, ten touchdowns, and four interceptions.
Both teams need the win as they fight for both a division title and a playoff spot. It will be interesting to see both sides come out in this game, as a loss would see their playoff hopes take a hit.
Justin Herbert's injuries piling up
The Chargers franchise quarterback has been dealing with injuries over the past couple of weeks. This week, Herbert was added to the injury report with an oblique injury, though he still practiced.
Herbert has already dealt with a hand injury, and perhaps that might explain why Los Angeles has taken a dip of late, having lost three of their last four games. Furthermore, the Chargers haven't scored more than 27 points during that stretch.
With an oblique injury now, it will be interesting to see how these injuries affect Herbert's on-field performance. As the Chargers fight for a playoff spot, they'll lean heavily on Herbert despite the 23-year-old battling the aches and pains of an NFL season that's hitting the final stretch.
Steelers missing key players on defense
Heading to Los Angeles, the Steelers will be without a key member of their defense as T.J. Watt was injured late following a sack of Jared Goff.
The Steelers will have to rely on other players to step up to keep the Chargers' offense quiet. Watt is second in the NFL with 12.5 sacks, so the Steelers take a hit when it comes to the pass rush.
However, the pass rusher isn't the lone key defensive player out for this game as he joins a list that includes safety Minkah Fitzpatrick -- who remains on the Reserve/COVID-19 List -- and cornerback Joe Haden out with a foot injury.