Now that training camp is underway, and the roster for the offseason is close to finalized—though always fluid—it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past few months.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: QB Ben Roethlisberger
Stock Value: Up
He may be on the Reserve/Injured List, but since his name has come up in recent days, we may as well discuss him. Ben Roethlisberger is, after all, only the single most important player to the franchise since the 1970s, and it still baffles me that he didn’t even make the finalist list for the NFL 100 All-Time team at quarterback.
After suffering a season-ending elbow injury early in the season, Roethlisberger has been on the sidelines—literally. He has taken the back seat to Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges, both on and off the field, only supplying his input when sought or when he believed it would be useful, while remaining supportive of his team.
Despite the fact that he issued a statement soon after being injured that he had every intention of completing his contract, which runs through 2021, and to return better than ever, there remained lingering doubts as to whether he would play again—or if he would want to.
Those fears were discussed among recent reports, which Roethlisberger’s social media account took the time to shut down yesterday, vowing that he has every intention of returning to the field stronger and better than ever before.
Despite rampant comments suggesting that Roethlisberger’s weight has ballooned, and other things of that nature, there is every indication that he appears to be well on track to return to the field. He is reported to be ahead of schedule in his rehab and should be able to begin throwing relatively early in the offseason, though perhaps still months away.
I’m sure it’s been a very interesting couple of months for the 37-year old, so used to being the one out there on the field throwing the ball along. I don’t believe he’s ever been sidelined for more than three games consecutively due to an injury before. This was nearly a full season, almost like James Mason in It’s a Wonderful Life, seeing what Roethlisberg would be like without him.