Steelers Make New Ben Roethlisberger Injury Update
The Steelers made a new Ben Roethlisberger injury update this past week.
Roethlisberger suffered an elbow injury in Week 2. He subsequently missed the rest of the 2019 season. Although many anticipated he may officially retire this summer, that does not appear to be in the cards.
The 37-year-old is planning on returning in 2020.
A few weeks ago, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that he had “no hesitation” about his quarterback’s status in 2020.
“He fully intends to come back from his injury, and everything we’ve heard, we’re comfortable that’s a strong possibility,” Tomlin said.
On Saturday afternoon, the Steelers team Twitter account sent out a video of Roethlisberger tossing around a football.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) February 22, 2020
Roethlisberger feeling good enough to throw a football around is obviously a good sign.
A little less than a month ago, Steelers owner Art Rooney II did a session with the media. During it, he offered an injury update of sorts on his franchise quarterback.
“So far, so good as far as Ben’s progress,” Rooney II said.
“He’s still early in his rehab situation, but all reports we’re getting have been positive. We’re really looking for him to improve as we work into the spring here.”
Rooney also indicated that they were looking into getting Roethlisberger some offensive support, for when he does return.
“We’ll be looking for an opportunity if we can add a player that can help us whether it’s a wide receiver or a running back,” he said.
“I’m not sure about quarterback. I think we’re pretty comfortable with the people we have on the roster now in terms of Ben and Mason, and I think we’ll have Duck (Hodges) and Paxton Lynch back participating and competing in camp and things like that this year.”
With no Roethlisberger leading the way, Pittsburgh ranked at the bottom of the league offensively with just 186.3 yards per outing. The hope is that the team will be able to change that next year.
Obviously Hodges and Rudolph did their best in Roethlisberger’s absence this past season, but neither is really a starter-level quarterback in the NFL at this stage in their careers.
The Steelers need Roethlisberger back in order to be competitive in the increasingly tough AFC North.
In 2018, his last fully healthy season, Roethlisberger threw for 5,129 yards and 34 touchdowns. With two years still remaining on his deal, Pittsburgh no doubt hopes he can return to that sort of form in 2020.
Last season, without Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh went 8-8 and finished second in the division. It was arguably the best coaching job of Tomlin’s career, but it still was not good enough to qualify for a postseason berth.
“I think it’s a pretty good combination of some young guys and veteran guys that can work together and become a dominant defense,” Rooney said.
“With all the injuries we had, it was our defense that helped us hang in there. Too bad we didn’t get one more win and get into the playoffs.”
Roethlisberger, for his part, seems eager to get back into the swing of things. A full year on the sidelines will do that to a future Hall of Famer.
It will be interesting to see what sort of shape Roethlisberger ultimately returns in when he does come back. The answer that will likely shine some light on whether last season’s injury was a fluke and aberration or the new normal.
Either way, if Roethlisberger does not come back strong in 2020, Pittsburgh will likely start looking for a franchise quarterback to help lead the team into its next era of championship football.