a statement on Steelers.comThe Pittsburgh Steelers had a not good Sunday afternoon, falling to 0-2 with a loss to the Seattle Seahawks at home. But far more concerning was the injury suffered by franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, which will end his season, the Steelers announced on Monday morning.
"Ben Roethlisberger had an MRI on his right elbow Sunday evening and it was determined by the Steelers' medical team that surgery will be required," Mike Tomlin said in a statement released by the team. "We expect the surgery will be scheduled for this week. He will be placed on our Reserve/Injured List and is out for the season."
Roethlisberger recently released a statement on Steelers.com that addressed his future with the franchise:
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.
The veteran quarterback signed an extension earlier this spring to keep him rostered through 2021.
We discussed this on the Pick Six Podcast with CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, who reported Ben and the Steelers were "contemplating" this surgery. It sounds as if the surgery is similar to what pitchers undergo with Tommy John, as it's believed that Roethlisberger suffered an injury to his UCL. Rehab was a possibility, but it was likely an uphill battle.
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.
Roethlisberger suffered the elbow injury during the first half against the Seahawks, and it was immediately apparent that something was badly wrong. He grabbed his elbow and looked to the sideline.
Here's a video of the Ben Roethlisberger injury.pic.twitter.com/PsP1Z1Rhxy— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 15, 2019
The Steelers pulled him out and sent him to the locker room. He would return to the sideline before halftime, but he never played again. It was the Mason Rudolph show the rest of the way.
Rudolph, drafted with a high pick by the Steelers, will take over for the Steelers for the rest of 2019.
The NFL landscape shifts with this news, and the Ravens become massive favorites to along with the injury to Drew Brees expected to keep him out for at least six weeks.
According to SportsLine's projections, the Steelers are basically toast this season with Ben's injury. They were projected, following an 0-2 start, to finish with 7.9 wins on the season. Ben to Rudolph, per these projections, costs the Steelers a little over a full win on the season as they're now projected to finish with 6.6 wins on the season. Their chances of winning the division, per SportsLine, drop from 13.5 percent after the 0-2 start to 4.7 percent.
Roethlisberger had been surprisingly health over the last few years of his career, having played 31 of a possible 32 games the last two seasons. Roethlisberger led the NFL in passing attempts, passing completions and passing yards last season and was set to try and prove that his success was not related to Antonio Brown, who departed this offseason for the Raiders before eventually landing with the Patriots.
Brown was catching touchdown passes from Tom Brady yesterday while Ben was on the sidelines watching Rudolph take over.