The only way past adversity is through it. I seem to be writing sentiments like that a lot this offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they were just dealt their biggest blow with the news that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will miss the remainder of the season due to an elbow injury that will require surgery to continue his career.
In a game and a half, Roethlisberger failed to throw a touchdown, and only led one touchdown drive, which was capped off by James Conner run on a drive that began deep in opposing territory due to a turnover. The Steelers scored 13 points during his six quarters of action.
Conner was also injured and left Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, with Jaylen Samuels playing the rest of the way. While he said that he believes he shouldn’t have to miss time with his bruise, he knows he won’t be coming back out with Roethlisberger, and that will take rallying around Mason Rudolph.
“I have confidence in him”, Conner said during his radio show yesterday on 93.7 The Fan. “Everyone has to do their own jobs. That’s how we go out and approach it”. In other words, Rudolph is the quarterback going forward, but it’s not all on him.
Everybody has to do their part, whether that’s directly helping Rudolph by making catches or blocks, or whether it’s the defense making plays, Chris Boswell making kicks, the coaches putting their players in the best positions to exceed, or whatever else it might be.
Roethlisberger only played 19 snaps during the preseason, about a quarter as much as Rudolph saw, and the latter was one of the better players in the league during the exhibition period, finishing with four touchdown passes and an interception that was the result of a miscommunication with his wide receiver.
But he got his first meaningful action on Sunday when he played the entire second half against the Seahawks. On passes that were not intercepted because Donte Moncrief dropped the ball, he completed 12 of 18 attempts for 112 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to Vance McDonald.
This time, he will get a full starter’s week to prepare, from the snaps to the film study to the gameplan being centered around him, which will be a new and different experience, an opportunity that he is excited about.
His teammates will do everything he can to give him the best chance to succeed. He has already earned the respect of a lot of the veterans. David DeCastro gushed with praise for him after Sunday’s loss, lamenting that they couldn’t get him a win.