Ben Roethlisberger injury history and updates

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

Ben Roethlisberger has certainly done enough to hear his name called in Canton someday. While the Pittsburgh Steelers star quarterback is one of the NFL’s top-10 leading passers of all time, this is a number that could have been even better had Roethlisberger been able to avoid the injury bug.

Though Big Ben was drafted all the way back in 2004, the former 11th overall pick didn’t play a full 16-game season until his fifth year in 2009. He wouldn’t see his next full season until 2013 at the age of 31. In his first 17 NFL seasons, Roethlisberger played a full season just 4 times (though a few of these years the team chose to rest him for the final game in preparation for the playoffs).

With injuries quite literally ranging from his head to his feet, and everything in between, Ben Roethlisberger has not had it easy when it comes to staying in good health, and he was forced to play through many of these injuries. Here’s a look at each recorded injury he suffered dating back to his entrance into the league:

Ben Roethlisberger injury history with the Pittsburgh Steelers

While he’s only suffered one very serious injury that could have been career-threatening, very few NFL players have suffered more bumps and bruises than Ben Roethlisberger since the early 2000s. It’s remarkable he has lasted this long.

Ben Roethlisberger elbow injury, September 2019

Sometimes when Big Ben goes down, we expect him to come jogging out of the tunnel in the second half and lead the Steelers to a comeback win. However, this one was different. Roethlisberger winced in pain after throwing the ball in the first half of his Week 2 contest against the Seattle Seahawks and didn’t return to the game.

Ben would soon have season-ending surgery to repair three detached ligaments to his throwing elbow.

Ben Roethlisberger meniscus tear, October 2016

Ben Roethlisberger missed just one game following surgery to repair a torn meniscus. The Steelers lost to the New England Patriots in his absence in Week 7 with Landry Jones as the starter.

Ben Roethlisberger shoulder sprain, January 2016

Ben Roethlisberger had an A/C joint sprain with torn ligaments in his throwing shoulder. This was diagnosed immediately after the Steelers miraculous playoff win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Though Ben played the following playoff game, his offense would score just 16 points in a loss against the Denver Broncos.

Ben Roethlisberger MCL sprain, September 2015

After being tackled awkwardly while taking a sack in the third game of the 2014 season, Ben Rothlisberger was carted off the field. Roethlisberger would miss the next four games with a Grade II MCL sprain before returning to the field in Week 8. The Pittsburgh Steelers went 2-2 in his absence with a combination of Michael Vick and Landry Jones leading the charge.

Ben Roethlisberger rib separation, November 2012

Ben Roethlisberger suffered a dislocated rib against the Kansas City Chiefs in a 16-13 victory.

Ben Roethlisberger shoulder separation, November 2012

In addition to dislocating a rib against the Chiefs, Ben Roethlisberger also suffered a separated S/C joint in his shoulder. This would cause him to miss the following three games (two against the Baltimore Ravens). The Steelers went 1-2 in his absence.

Ben Roethlisberger concussion, November 2009

Ben Roethlisberger suffered a concussion during a 24-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He would miss one game against the Ravens, and the Steelers would go on to lose by just 3 points against Baltimore in Week 12.

Other Ben Roethlisberger injuries

  • Ben Roethlisberger rib fracture, December 2018: Ben Roethlisberger was diagnosed with a rib fracture, but this did not cause him to miss any games. He would go on to lead the NFL with 5,129 passing yards this year.
  • Ben Roethlisberger concussion, November 2015: Ben Roethlisberger suffered a concussion against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 14. He missed zero games and went on to blow out the Indianapolis Colts in a 45-10 win the following week.
  • Ben Roethlisberger foot sprain, November 2015: Just three weeks before suffering a concussion in the 2015 season, Ben Roethlisberger was diagnosed with a pedal foot sprain following a 10-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He would not miss any games.
  • Ben Roethlisberger finger dislocation, September 2013: Ben Roethlisberger dislocated his right index finger in Week 4 in a loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He continued playing and was not forced to miss any time.
  • Ben Roethlisberger ankle sprain, August 2012: Ben Roethlisberger suffered a Grade I ankle sprain when his foot was stepped on during a preseason game on August 4th. He was able to start in Week 1 of the season against the Broncos.
  • Ben Roethlisberger ankle sprain, December 2011: Ben Roethlisberger sprained his left ankle close to halftime against the Cleveland Browns. Backup Charlie Batch came in to attempt two passes, but Roethlisberger would return – closing out the 14-3 win.
  • Ben Roethlisberger thumb fracture, November 2011: Ben Roethlisberger suffered a fractured thumb against the Cincinnati Bengals, but it did not cause him to miss a snap.
  • Ben Roethlisberger foot sprain, October 2011: Ben Roethlisberger suffered a foot sprain in Week 4 against the Houston Texans. Big Ben played through the injury but completed just 16 of 30 passes for 206 yards and an interception in the 10-17 loss.
  • Ben Roethlisberger nose fracture, December 2010: During Sunday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens, Ben Roethlisberger was hit in the face during a sack and suffered a fractured nose. Despite his nose facing the wrong direction, he was able to be fixed upon the sidelines at the end of the series and didn’t miss a snap in this game.
  • Ben Roethlisberger foot fracture, November 2010: Ben Roethlisberger suffered a foot fracture against the Buffalo Bills during a Week 11 win. It was initially thought the injury was a sprain. Fortunately, he did not miss any games following the injury.
  • Ben Roethlisberger Achilles pull, August 2009: After suffering a pulled Achilles tendon in the preseason, Ben Roethlisberger was still able to play to begin Week 1. Unfortunately, the offense scored just 15.6 points per game over their first three contests with an ailing Big Ben and started the season with a record of 1-2.

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