Has Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger played the final snap of his NFL career? While I certainly have no reason to believe that’s the case, one NFL insider is reportedly hearing that Roethlisberger might not ever make it back from the season-ending elbow injury he suffered early this season that required surgery.
“I’ve talked to people who have spoken with him, and he has some doubt whether he’s really gonna play football again,” Chris Mortensen reportedly said on ESPN’s SportsCenter Monday morning, according to Bleacher Report.
According to Mortensen’s latest report, the Steelers could sign a veteran free agent quarterbacks such as Philip Rivers, Eli Manning or Teddy Bridgewater during the offseason if Roethlisberger is unable to return.
This is really the first time we’ve heard anyone in the media with a lot of credibility say that Roethlisberger might not make it back from his elbow injury. In fact, Mortensen’s Monday report comes less than a week after Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the quarterback has told him that his rehab is on track.
“I talked briefly to Roethlisberger after the Bills game. He told me he is “ahead of schedule” with his rehab from elbow surgery in September,” Cook reported several days ago.
Roethlisberger is due a $12.5 million roster bonus on the third day of the new league year in March and there no sign that he’ll be ready to resume throwing by then. He might, however, be ready to resume throwing once the team begins their summer OTA practices. Until he does resume throwing, Roethlisberger has reportedly said that he will not shave his already overgrown beard.
As for the report that the Steelers might be interested in signing the likes of Rivers, Manning or Bridgewater during the offseason, that seems way out there as well. All three of those players will garner plenty of attention and money during free agency and thus it’s hard to imagine any of the three signing with the Steelers, who will be cap crunched all throughout the offseason.
It’s my duty to pass along reports such as this to the readers of the site even if I don’t fully believe them. That’s the case here with this report from Mortensen on Roethlisberger. Hopefully nine months from now we can look back at this post and giggle. Stay tuned.