Ben Roethlisberger is telling the world he’s back in a recent video he posted to social media. Here’s what it means for the Steelers in 2020.
Most fans would admit that Ben Roethlisberger was looking rough most of this offseason. The Steelers star quarterback claimed that he wasn’t going to cut his hair or shave his beard until he was able to throw an NFL caliber pass.
Apparently, that day has finally come. The Pittsburgh Steelers posted a video from Ben Roethlisberger’s social media account, showing him with a fresh new look and a rejuvenated throwing arm:
The beard is trimmed…
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 18, 2020
This news is more than encouraging for Steelers fans. Though the reports all along were that Ben should make a full recovery before the start of the season, it’s been eight months since we’ve seen him make NFL-level passes (no, tossing the football in a gymnasium doesn’t count).
In the video, Roethlisberger could be seen throwing the ball to JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, and Ryan Switzer. At the end of the video, Smith-Schuster exclaims “He’s back! Stay tuned!”
Though we saw just a few passes, Roethlisberger doesn’t appear to be at all hampered by his surgically-repaired right elbow. In fact, it looks like he has a good amount of zip behind his ball.
As it does for most teams in the league, the Steelers season in 2020 lives and dies by the quarterback position. If Roethlisberger can stay on the football field, Pittsburgh will have a chance to go far. However, only time will tell how his elbow will hold up throughout the year.
It’s possible that the Steelers have a shift in offensive gameplan this sesaon. Though Ben Roethlisberger led all quarterbacks in passing attempts in 2018, it’s hard to envision that being the case this year. Randy Fichtner will likely want to cut down on his usage to avoid another serious injury to a freshly repaired elbow, and Ben probably won’t be slinging the ball 42 times per game as he did in 2018.
However, that doesn’t mean that the star quarterback won’t be a significant upgrade over Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges from a season ago. Though Ben led the league in interceptions (16) in 2018, he also led all quarterbacks in passing yards (5,129) and posted 34 touchdowns through the air.
At 38 years old and with extensive injury history in his past, it’s hard to know exactly how much Roethlisberger has left in the tank. However, Steelers fans have a reason to be confident heading into the 2020 season. As long as Ben is healthy, Pittsburgh will have a chance to go far this year.