Will Ben Roethlisberger be ready in time for the Steelers 2020 season?

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images) /

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is coming off a major elbow injury. Will he be ready in time for Pittsburgh’s season opener this fall?

Everybody and their mother has seen the viral video of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at this point. After months of rehabbing his elbow after season-ending surgery back in September, there were concerns with how he was progressing.

According to an article from Ron Cook of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the hope was for Big Ben to be able to start throwing tennis balls and other light objects by the end of February. However, video evidence showed Ben throwing footballs much sooner than expected:

While seeing Roethlisberger sling the pigskin for the first time in nearly half a year, is it enough to know that he will be ready by Pittsburgh’s season-opener in 2020?

After Ben’s visit with the doctor in late February, he returned with a solid report. Cook tweeted that it was still going to be 2.5-3 months before he gets “total” clearance from the doctor:

According to this report, that would mean that Roethlisberger should be ready to suit up by the end of May.  That is, however, assuming there isn’t a setback.

Not many quarterbacks have gone through the same surgery Ben Roethlisberger had to undergo, and it’s hard to know exactly how long it will take him to get back up to speed. With an injury like this, pushing himself too much too early could cause a major setback in his progress.

The Steelers were pitiful in 2019 with just the 30th ranked offense in the league. General manager Kevin Colbert made it a point this offseason to say that he was “comfortable” moving forward with the quarterbacks they have on the roster.

Neither Mason Rudolph or Devlin Hodges have shown any reason why they should be counted on in the future, and if Big Ben were to miss time, we would have to assume the results would be equally devastating.

Despite a deep quarterback class in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Steelers chose not to meet with any passers at the NFL Combine this year. It’s still too early to tell if ignoring the position, for now, will pay off in the short term for Pittsburgh.

The one thing we do know for sure is that the Steelers can’t win without Roethlisberger running the show. He’s 38 years old now, and he may never be the same player he was before the injury. However, if he can return as a fraction of himself, it will still be better than what Pittsburgh dealt with last season.

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As of now, no news is good news when it comes to Ben Roethlisberger, and we can assume that he is progressing as advertised. If he stays on this track, it looks like the Steelers will be able to have him by the start of the season.