Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger holding play sheet on sideline, not phone

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was not holding a cell phone on the sidelines during Thursday night's 23-20 overtime loss to the Ravens, according to the team.

Spokesman Burt Lauten said Roethlisberger, who was shown during the NBC broadcast holding something and then quickly placing it in his sweatshirt pocket, was holding a play sheet. It is believed to be Roethlisberger's personal wristband with plays on it.

There was speculation on social media that Roethlisberger appeared to be holding a cell phone, which would break NFL telecommunication rules because of the unfair advantage it could create. Roethlisberger, for example, could text sideline observations to coaches in the press box.

The NFL also responded with a statement Friday: "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."

Browns general manager Ray Farmer is serving a four-game suspension for breaking NFL policy on cell phone use during a game.

Roethlisberger sprained his left knee in Sunday's win at St. Louis and watched Thursday's game on the sidelines without crutches, serving as a de facto quarterbacks coach for second-string QB Michael Vick.