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USA Today

Ben Roethlisberger has cleared COVID-19 protocols and is expected to start for the Steelers' Week 11 road game against the Chargers. Roethlisberger, who was activated to the 53-man roster on Saturday morning, will fly separately to Los Angeles on the team's charter plane. 

The veteran quarterback missed the Steelers' Week 10 tie against the Lions after testing positive for the virus last Saturday. Roethlisberger was replaced in the lineup by Mason Rudolph, who went 30 of 50 for 242 yards with a touchdown and an interception while making his 10th career start. 

Rudolph received first-team reps with the Steelers' offense throughout the week in preparation for Sunday's game against the Chargers, who have several players currently on the COVID-19 list. Chargers coach Brandon Staley said that each player -- including pass-rusher Joey Bosa -- has a chance to face the Steelers on Sunday night. 

After a 1-3 start, Roethlisberger helped lead the Steelers to four consecutive wins. A more balanced play sheet has helped turn things around in Pittsburgh. After throwing 170 passes in Pittsburgh's first four games, Roethlisberger attempted 129 throws over his past four games. 

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While he is throwing less, Roethlisberger is having more success. Roethlisberger has thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions during Pittsburgh's winning streak after throwing as many touchdowns (four) as interceptions during the season's first four games. He's had an average passer rating of 106.3 over that span after having an average rating of 80 during the first month of the season. 

Sunday night's game features two teams that are in the thick of things as far as the AFC playoff picture is concerned. The Steelers would be the sixth-seeded AFC team if the playoffs started today, while Los Angels (5-4) would be the seventh and final playoff seed.