Ben Roethlisberger has destroyed any thoughts that this past Sunday's game may be his last. The two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback was on Monday after sustaining an injury to his right elbow in Pittsburgh's 28-26 loss to the visiting Seattle Seahawks. Roethlisberger, through a statement released by Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday, expressed his desire to come back "stronger than ever" in 2020 and beyond:
I've been informed that I need season ending surgery on my elbow to continue playing football at the level I expect. This is shocking and heartbreaking for me, to miss this much of a season and feel like I am letting down so many people. I can only trust God's plan, but I am completely determined to battle through this challenge and come back stronger than ever next season. The Steelers committed three years to me this offseason and I fully intend to honor my contract and reward them with championship level play.
I will do all I can to support Mason and the team this season to help win games. I love this game, my teammates, the Steelers organization and fans, and I feel in my heart I have a lot left to give.
Roethlisberger, 37, has never missed more than four games during a season in his 16-year career. The last time he missed more than one game due to injury was in 2015, when the Steelers still managed to go 10-6 and win the AFC's sixth playoff seed despite Big Ben missing four games. Roethlisberger played in all 16 games last season, setting career highs with 5,129 yards and 34 touchdowns while also throwing a league-high 16 interceptions.
What does Big Ben's future look like with the Steelers? Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson, John Breech and Sean Wagner-McGough discuss the fallout from Ben Roethlisberger's season-ending injury in an emergency Monday afternoon edition of the Pick Six podcast. Make sure and subscribe to get our daily NFL pod, now with seven (!) episodes per week, M-F.
Along with rehabbing his elbow, Roethlisberger's new goal for the 2019 season will be helping Mason Rudolph, who will make his first career start on Sunday against the 2-0 49ers in San Francisco. Earlier today, Chris Trapasso broke down why Rudolph can make a seamless transition at quarterback in his detailed scouting report of the second-year quarterback. Pittsburgh, winless through two games, is in jeopardy of having its first losing season since 2003, the year before the Steelers drafted Roethlisberger with the 11th overall pick.
The Steelers have also promoted quarterback Devlin Hodges from the practice squad to the 53-man roster to backup Rudolph.