Big Ben ready to get at it

The Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger watched from the sideline in shorts and a T-shirt Thursday night in the team’s 51-34 preseason loss at Green Bay.

He and second-stringer Landry Jones had already been ruled out for the game when Roethlisberger left a training camp practice on Tuesday with a possible concussion. Mason Rudolph and Joshua Dobbs, who are most likely fighting for one spot on the roster, played with Rudolph getting the first-half snaps and Dobbs the second-half snaps.

Big Ben looked just fine while chatting with Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers as they walked to their respective locker rooms at halftime. After the game, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Roethlisberger was out of the concussion protocol.

Sounds like he’ll be back at practice today.

“He’s out of the protocol. He’s a full participant,” Tomlin said.

The Steelers got off to rough start after Rudolph threw a interception returned for a touchdown.

But five minutes later, Rudolph found JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 4-yard touchdown pass. Rudolph was just 5 of 12 for 47 yards in playing the first half.

Dobbs didn’t look much better after throwing a 22-yard interception returned for a touchdown by rookie cornerback Josh Jackson in the third quarter.

“We’d just like to have those plays back, but the deal is you don’t get those plays back,” Tomlin said. “So, hopefully, there’s a learning process there in it for all of us.”

Dobbs finished strong and connected with rookie receiver James Washington for two second-half touchdowns . He was 12 of 17 for 192 yards.

Besides Roethlisberger, the Steelers didn’t have two other stars. Receiver Antonio Brown sat out, while running back Le’Veon Bell still hasn’t signed his franchise tender.

But Smith-Schuster is picking up where he left off following a promising rookie year after scoring his second preseason TD. The score wrapped up a wild opening five minutes in which the Packers raced out to a 14-point lead before the Steelers scored two straight touchdowns.

Second-string quarterback Brett Hundley was 6 of 9 for 77 yards. He also scored on a 10-yard run . Third-stringer DeShone Kizer connected with receiver Jake Kumerow for an 82-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.

James Conner had a 26-yard touchdown run for the Steelers in the first quarter while the Packers still had many starters on the field. Washington scored on a 19-yard pass from Dobbs after turning and extending his arms past a defender to retrieve the ball.

“Every time he gets a rep, my eyes are on him. I’m just studying him each and every day, picking his brain, just trying to become a better receiver,” Washington said of working with Brown.

Preseason notes: Steelers backup center Patrick Morris left in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury. … There were no apparent displays of protest by players on either team during the national anthem. … The Steelers host the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, Aug. 25.

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