It’s been well over a month since we’ve gotten an update from Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert on the continued rehab of starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. That changed on Monday, however, as Colbert was asked during a Steelers Nation Unite question and answer session with fans to update the outlook for Roethlisberger and specifically how his arm is doing as the calendar begins to turn forward from March to April.
“I mean, so far so good and all the indications from Ben himself in communication with our doctors, with our trainers, the bits of video that we’ve seen him throw earlier in the spring, are all encouraging,” Colbert said. “We haven’t seen him throw live, because he hasn’t been in our building. He’s only been in the building for rehab checks with our doctors and with our trainers, because he can’t really physically get out on the field.
“Obviously in this situation, this would be the time of the year where they would be circling back in. The players would be allowed to circle back in and begin their offseason programs. But, again, all that’s on hold. So, at this moment we just have to rely on what our doctors and what our trainers and what Ben himself is giving us and that’s encouraging.”
The Steelers can’t begin offseason workouts until April 20 at the earliest, according to NFL rules. Even so, all NFL on-field activities are currently on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic and there’s a good chance the entire OTA sessions will by bypassed completely this spring.
Colbert’s Monday outlook for Roethlisberger comes a little less than two weeks after the Steelers quarterback told Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he has no doubts and that he’s confident that he’ll be able to return this upcoming season and play well.
“I’m throwing without pain for the first time in years,” Roethlisberger told Cook.
Roethlisberger also told Cook he’s now throwing from his knees and flat-footed about 40 times a day with passes travelling 20 yards. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic likely to heavily impact the annual NFL offseason program, Roethlisberger feels even less rushed in his rehab from elbow surgery.
“Our goal was for me to be 80, 90, 100% by OTAs and minicamp,” Roethlisberger recently told Cook. “Now that it looks like those things are going to be canceled [because of the COVID-19 pandemic], I can take my time a little more.”
As things stand right now with Roethlisberger, no news is probably the best kind of news. Barring any kind of setback, Roethlisberger should be ready to participate in training camp at some level close to what he normally does. Make no mistake, however, the Steelers won’t rush him along in his rehab and especially if some sort of offseason program ultimately comes to fruition during the spring.