Steelers News

Art Rooney II On Ben Roethlisberger’s Rehab: ‘Everything We Hear So Far Is Positive’

There is no single factor more significant when it comes to shaping the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 than the state of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s elbow. The presumably long-building injury limited him to just six quarters in his 16th season before being sidelined, placed on injured reserve and ultimately requiring surgery to repair it.

The remainder of the season found one of 2018’s top offenses quarterbacked by two novices who had never thrown a meaningful pass in their professional careers in Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges. Though they combined to go 8-6 (the team lost the two games Roethlisberger started), the performances at the position fell well short of the standards.

And so there is understandably a lot of consternation concerning Roethlisberger’s health, with an eye on his recovery on every leg of the journey. During his end-of-season press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin said that there would not be a significant update until the start of February, when a key checkup would take place.

President Art Rooney II just met with reporters earlier today to discuss the state of the team, touching on a wide array of topics, and it’s no surprise that Roethlisberger and his current status came up in a multitude of ways.

Rooney said that the 2019 season was difficult to characterize in large part because of Roethlisberger’s injury, but Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette warned against painting his return as “a cure-all” for all of the team’s offensive problems, despite allowing “it will be good to have him back”.

In spite of his injury, the quarterback remained a regular fixture in the team’s facility, the quarterback room, and on the sidelines. I believe the only game he did not travel for was the west coast game against the Los Angeles Chargers, which came soon after his injury. His elbow was heavily wrapped, and some have taken to calling him Bionic Ben for his appearance.

“Everything we hear so far is positive”, Rooney said of the progress that he has been making, but added “he is still in the early stages of rehab. That’s going to start to ramp up soon. We’re anxious to see his progress”.

Provided that he receives a positive report in early February, he should presumably be not far off from being able to begin throwing once again. Even still, the team will likely play it as cautiously as possible with him throughout the offseason, under the circumstances.

Meanwhile, he will have a ‘new’ quarterbacks coach with which to familiarize himself in Matt Canada, who was hired today. Canada, however, spent a bit of time at Pitt, where he would have been a presence in the team’s facilities.

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