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Getty Ben Roethlisberger reacts during warm-ups.

Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement has been delayed thanks to the Las Vegas Raiders deciding to go for the win instead of a tie. If the game ended in a tie, the Pittsburgh Steelers would’ve been cropped out of the playoff picture, and Roethlisberger would be writing his retirement speech.

Not being in control of your own destiny — as they certainly were this time around — is a tough position for any team. But the Steelers and their fans are used to a bit of distress — a game just wouldn’t be right without some nail-biting and heart-racing. After all, eight of Pittsburgh’s nine wins this season were by 10 points or less, and most came down to the final seconds.

With a narrow Week 18 victory over the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars shocking win over the Indianapolis Colts, the Pittsburgh Steelers playoff hopes stayed alive. Roethlisberger and his team’s chance to clinch a playoff berth came down to a win by the Raiders or Chargers that Sunday night, and the result was nearly neither.

Big Ben’s Big Reaction

Ben Roethlisberger’s reaction to the victory was as epic as the end of the Raiders-Chargers game.

Per Tim Benz of TribLive, Roethlisberger was on a FaceTime call with musicians TobyMac and Bart Millard as the nerve-racking game drew to a close. “Sadly, there was no audio track to the post,” Benz wrote. “But this is a case where the pictures really do tell a thousand words.”

TobyMac posted the video and tweeted: “When you decide to watch the end of the Sunday night game on Facetime with Bart & your homie…..a game that determines whether or not he gets in the playoffs and you don’t realize you’re 15 seconds ahead of him on the outcome.”

FaceTime doesn't record audio.

— TobyMac (@tobymac) January 11, 2022

There was a 15-second delay in the feed Roethlisberger was watching, and nobody realized until Raiders’ Daniel Carlson kicked the game-winning field goal. TobyMac raved, and Roethlisberger appeared happily amazed. “WHAT? WHAT?” you can see Roethlisberger mouthing.

TobyMac turned his phone to show the Raiders celebrating as Roethlisberger cheered, continuing to keep his eye on the game’s outcome. Once it came, Roethlisberger’s reaction was one of pure, unadulterated joy. His career lived to see another game.

Mike Tomlin’s Not-So-Big Reaction

On the other hand, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin didn’t know about the outcome of the game until the next morning.

“I missed the end of it,” Tomlin admitted in a January 11 press conference. “I dozed off. I knew I had a workday waiting on me. I assumed that I had a workday waiting on me. I think at one point [Las Vegas] was up by 15, and that number made you somewhat comfortable. I’m probably better off not having watched it. So, it’s probably not as exciting of a description as you would have hoped.”

Tomlin would come to find out that the workday was to begin preparation for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Steelers last go-round in Missouri was not a favorable one. Not so long ago, in Week 16, Pittsburgh was thoroughly walloped 36-10 by the home team. “They smashed us so definitively,” Tomlin said.

In the wild-card round on Sunday Night Football, the Steelers get a chance to redeem themselves. Hopefully, they can learn from their mistakes.

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Ex-Bears WR With Combative Past Signs New Deal With Raiders

Getty Ex-Bears receiver Javon Wims just signed a reserves deal with the Raiders.

Javon Wims has found a new home in Las Vegas, signing a reserve/futures contract with the Raiders, according to the NFL’s Jan. 19 waiver wire.

The former seventh-round draft pick for the Chicago Bears spent his first three seasons in the Windy City before the team waived him in August 2021. The Bears selected Wims in the seventh round (224 overall) out of Georgia in the 2018 NFL draft, and he played in 33 total games, starting seven.

The 6-foot-2, 221-pound wide receiver was primarily utilized on special teams and in blocking situations, as he was a high-quality blocker. In his three years with the team, Wims caught 28 passes on 56 targets for 266 yards and two touchdowns. His most productive year was in 2019 when he started six games and played in all 16, catching a career-high 18 passes for 186 yards and a score.

Multiple combative incidents, lack of on-field production and the addition and emergence of other receivers ultimately led to his release. He was signed to the Raiders practice squad in September of 2021, where he spent the entire season. Now, he’ll get a shot to make the Raiders’ roster again.

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Wims’ Time in Chicago Punctuated By Multiple Combative Incidents

A big and physical player, Wims became known more for that physicality than anything else. He got aggressive with his ex-teammate, cornerback Prince Amukamara, during an August 2019 team practice at Halas Hall. As reported by Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, Wims threw a football at Amukamara before throwing four to five punches at the veteran corner’s helmet.

The team got past that incident, but Wims had another incident the following season that led to an ejection and suspension. He was ejected from a regular season game in 2020 after he punched New Orleans Saints defensive back C. J. Gardner-Johnson in the helmet. The NFL suspended Wims for two games as punishment for the incident.

We got a fight ???????? Wims got ejected after he throws a punch #NOvsCHI #BearsvsSaints

— The Sports Throne (@SportsThroneHub) November 1, 2020

Gardner-Johnson appeared to rip Wims’ mouthpiece off his helmet and toss it to the turf, and Wims later said the Saints DB spit on him, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network — which Gardner-Johnson subsequently denied, per ESPN.

Chicago chose to part ways with the wideout after the 2020 season, which also saw Wims drop a key pass that would have given the Bears life in their Wild Card loss to the New Orleans Saints:

Wims with the drop ????

— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) January 10, 2021

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Wims Will Get New Life With Raiders

“I think Javon has taken some of the deficiencies that he’s been kind of a little bit stubborn about denying probably I would say over the last couple years of things that he needs to work on and he’s really been open to coaching and very receptive of those ideas of what he needs to work on in regards to those deficiencies. And he really has,” former Bears wide receivers coach Mike Furrey said about Wims in 2020, via the Bears’ official website.

Things didn’t work out for him in Chicago, but Wims has enough abilities as a blocker and on special teams that he should be able to find a spot on a roster somewhere in the league. Vegas could be that place, but with a new regime coming in, that remains to be seen.

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