What if Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t return to form in 2020 for the Steelers?

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) Ben Roethlisberger
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) Ben Roethlisberger /

Everything has seemed to indicate that Ben Roethlisberger should be good to go for the Pittsburgh Steelers next season. But what if he isn’t?

For most of the 21st century, Ben Roethlisberger has been the face of the Pittsburgh Steelers. After a disappointing campaign in 2019 thanks to an elbow injury, Roethlisberger is looking to help the Steelers go on one more championship run before he hangs up his cleats for good.

Multiple reports and the quarterback himself have indicated that he will be ready to suit up for Pittsburgh in their first game next season. It’s good to hear that Roethlisberger is recovering well from his injury, but assuming he’ll just return to the player from 2018 who threw for over 5,000 yards and 30 touchdowns isn’t a bet people should be making right now.

As well as the Steelers quarterback has performed during his NFL career, he’s at an age (38) where most quarterbacks don’t experience a ton of success.

However, the league has recently seen older signal-callers like Tom Brady and Drew Brees continue to play at a high level and lead their teams to success. So the achievements of these two quarterbacks should allow at least Pittsburgh to feel a bit more confident about Roethlisberger’s ability to continue being a valuable asset in their offense next season.

But what if the Steelers’ long-time quarterback returns next season and he’s unable to pick up where he left off? What if Pittsburgh actually ends up playing worse with him under center in 2020?

Based on their lack of actions this offseason, the Steelers don’t seem to be considering this as a legitimate possibility. That’s fine and they can take whatever approach they like, but to not have a Plan B for their 38-year-old starting quarterback coming off a serious injury doesn’t seem like the smartest decision in the world.

Perhaps things could change during the upcoming NFL Draft and Pittsburgh actually has their eyes set on a young passing prospect from this year’s class as a potential Roethlisberger replacement.

If not, it seems like the Steelers are willing to risk their upcoming season on the hope that their veteran quarterback can remain healthy for the majority of the year and perform at a high level.

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This decision could be worth the risk in the end, but it could also come back to haunt them and result in a number of people from the organization looking for new jobs in 2021.