Ben Roethlisberger has a long list of injuries that he has suffered as a result of playing the game of football. None of them have been as significant as the elbow injury he is currently experiencing, which will cost him the vast majority of his 16th season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers placed the 37-year-old on the Reserve/Injured List yesterday, with Roethlisberger himself releasing a statement making it clear that the elbow injury will require season-ending surgery in order to allow him to prepare to return to play at a high level in 2020. But given the timeline of how this has all taken place, it’s understandable that people have questions.
Head coach Mike Tomlin was asked earlier today about whether or not Roethlisberger’s injury was pre-existing leading up to the start of the season. “No, not anything of any significance that would lead us in the direction that we’ve gone, no”, he said.
The veteran visibly expressed discomfort in his throwing elbow multiple times during the second quarter, grimacing and holding his arm after making a throw. He went into the locker room before halftime, and while he returned, he did not play again.
The team has not been forthcoming about the specific nature of Roethlisberger’s injury, and Tomlin made it clear that that will not change until after he has had his surgery, the date of which is “being hardened up as we sit here right now. While he does have more details, he is not divulging them at this time.
“You guys know I try to avoid getting into specifics in this forum”, he said. “I’m not a doctor, and I think a lot of those things will be confirmed when he gets his surgery. I’ll probably wait until after that to get into specific details about what they found and the prognosis in terms of recovery”.
He did say that he would let the statements issued by the team stand on their own, including Roethlisberger’s. “He fully intends to come back from this injury, and everything that we’ve heard, we’re comfortable that that is a strong possibility”, Tomlin allowed.
In six quarters of play in 2019, Roethlisberger completed 35 of 62 passes for 351 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He led the offense to a total of 13 points in his two games played, posting a quarterback rating of 66.
The Steelers signed him to a two-year contract extension back in April that ties him to the team through the 2021 season. The first of those three years is now wasted, at least in the sense of getting play from him, but both parties at this time fully intend to make the most of the 2020 and 2021 seasons.