A significant elbow surgery and nearly a year away from the game coupled with some social media videos and confident talk from his coaches and teammates are all we have to go on with Ben Roethlisberger. Only time will tell if he's the same strapping, strong-armed quarterback we've come to know since 2004. Ignoring Big Ben's six quarters from 2019, he's posted at least a top-12 finish in his previous three seasons and five of his past six. Those seasons included Antonio Brown making plenty of plays, but does he have someone like him now? JuJu Smith-Schuster is a candidate, as is Diontae Johnson, plus rookie Chase Claypool and veteran Eric Ebron figure to contribute. The fear is that Roethlisberger's receiving corps can't help him put up crazy good numbers. If that's the case, and if his arm is compromised in any way, it's unlikely he'll be back in the good graces of Fantasy managers. Until there's evidence of Roethlisberger playing well, he shouldn't be more than a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback drafted after Round 11 in typical leagues and in Round 6 in Superflex/two-QB leagues.
Roethlisberger's (elbow) teammate, JuJu Smith-Schuster, said in Wednesday's episode of the "Pardon My Take" podcast that the quarterback is "pretty much back to 100 percent" and should benefit from losing some weight over the offseason, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports. Coming back from major elbow surgery last September, the 38-year-old said in March that he was throwing without pain for the first time in years. The Steelers have given every indication Roethlisberger will be under center for Week 1, as he's recently been throwing passes to a group that includes Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, James Washington, Eric Ebron and James Conner. The Pittsburgh offensive line isn't quite what it was a few years ago, but the overall setup remains solidly above average.
Roethlisberger (elbow) is shown throwing passes to teammates James Conner (quadriceps) and JuJu Smith-Schuster in a video released by the Steelers on Monday. Roethlisberger, who underwent right elbow surgery in September, opens the video stating that he won't cut his hair or shave until he's able to throw a "legit NFL pass" to his teammates. The clip ends with the veteran signal-caller receiving a cut and trim, indicating that his on-field work with Conner and Smith-Schuster represents being able to resume throwing without issues. The Steelers expect the 38-year-old to make a full recovery in time to kick off the 2020 campaign, and being able to resume making an on-field connection with his receivers is a significant step in the right direction.
Roethlisberger (elbow) is expected to be ready when the season begins, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer Chris Adamski reports. "As we sit here today, we are extremely confident in his readiness," coach Mike Tomlin said. When asked about Roethlisberger's projected availability for the Steelers' season opener September 14 at the Giants, Tomlin added "He's throwing on a rehab schedule, and it's going well, and we fully anticipate him being ready to go for that opener." The Steelers will need Big Ben to stay healthy this season for the offense to improve after being one of the worst in the league last year.
Roethlisberger (elbow) expects to be healthy for Week 1 of the 2020 season, Ed Bouchette of The Athletic reports. "I was going to be ready to go for OTAs and the minicamps," Roethlisberger said Monday. "That was going to be the plan." Roethlisberger has displayed modest progress in his recovery from September surgery to reattach three ligaments in his throwing elbow, lofting passes in late February and throwing pain-free by the end of March. Along the way, there was an expectation he wouldn't do much during the offseason program and even be limited at the start of training camp. With the former happening virtually this year, Roethlisberger will turn his focus to being ready at the height of summer, though it remains to be seen if he'll get any run in the Steelers' Hall of Fame Game matchup with the Cowboys on Aug. 6 or during the preseason whatsoever.
Roethlisberger (elbow) indicated Friday that he's "throwing without pain for the first time in years," Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Per Kevin Patra of NFL.com, the QB also relayed that he's throwing about 40 passes per day from about 20 yards. With that in mind, Roethlisberger plans to gradually increase the volume and velocity of his throws, with an eye toward being ready for Week 1 on the 2020 NFL season.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/14||@New York Giants||29||23.88|
|13||12/06||Washington Football Team||25||22.75|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||65.1||3244||21||10||51||1||248|