While Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger denied a report that there was some larger concern about the health of his knee, he did acknowledge that he is aging in terms of a football player, that his knee is arthritic, and that he has already injured it, with a prior history of surgeries.
In other words, while his knee might not be about to fall off, it’s only ever going to feel so good in the first place. That’s just the way it is when you have had the career that he has had, both in terms of longevity and physicality.
Of course, it wasn’t his knee that people were concerned about entering the 2020 season. That would be his elbow, specifically the one on his throwing arm, in which he tore three tendons. The injury limited him to just six quarters of play in 2019 before he had to bow out. He underwent surgery and had a long rehabilitation process.
Since returning to the field, he has not exhibited any clear and obvious signs of his elbow injury bothering him in any meaningful way. He has completed 345 of 521 pass attempts, both the most in the NFL so far this season, for 3292 yards, with 29 touchdown passes to nine interceptions. He commented on the state of his elbow earlier today.
“I’m not so worried about my arm”, he said in response to a question of whether he would continue to be limited in the early portions of the work week. “My arm feels really good. Still need to be prudent because we haven’t put together a long body of work since we’ve had the surgery, but right now, my arm feels really good”.
Even though he might not want to push it in practice settings, giving his arm time to rest in between games, it hasn’t stopped him from putting the ball in the air early and often. He is averaging 40.1 pass attempts per game, the third-most among quarterbacks with at least 300 pass attempts on the season, and fourth-most overall.
“I think it’s more about the rest of the body. It’s kind of just a week-by-week thing”, he added. “The accumulation and toll of the hits, of pounding, of grinding, of being 38 years old. All those things kind of add up. It’s just smart, especially with this weird season with how many games we have played in a row plus the not really having a bye when we were supposed to. All those things just kind of add up, and so we will just continue to be smart and take it as my body feels and needs it”.
With the Steelers’ lack of a run game, they will need Roethlisberger to put the ball into play through the air if they have any intentions of winning. And with seeding for the postseason still in play, don’t expect him to rest any time soon.