Big Ben will have Season-Ending Surgery

[Pittsburgh, Pa] Fresh off their 28-26 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the Pittsburgh Steelers got even more bad news as they learned that QB Ben Roethlisberger will need season-injury surgery on his elbow after experiencing pain in at the end of the first half of Sunday’s game.

“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. 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.”-Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement.

This will be the first time in Roethlisberger’s 16-year career that he will miss the remainder of the season due to injury. The 37-year old had been able to come back from several injuries during his career. One of his previous injuries was in 2005 when he missed 4 games due to knee surgery. He was able to return and lead the Steelers victory in Super Bowl 40 He also led the Steelers to another Super Bowl victory in 2008. The other times that he’s missed fewer than 12 games was in 2010 (4-game suspension) and 2015 (injury)

One year after passing for a record-setting 5,129 yards (Best in the NFL) Roethlisberger signed a 2-year contract extension worth $68 million. He is also a 6-time Pro-Bowler.

Roethlisberger is scheduled to have surgery later this week, which will be performed by team surgeon Dr. James Bradley. Although many media types and fans wonder if this injury will end his career, a team source said it’s not believed that it will be life-threatening and Big Ben himself insists that he’s not done.

“I’ve been informed that I need season ending surgery on my elbow to continue playing football at the level I expect.” Roethlisberger said in a statement “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.”

Roethlisberger will be replaced by 2nd-year QB Mason Rudolph who finished Sunday’s game by passing for 112 yards and 2 TDs, both to Tight End  Vance McDonald. He also threw an interception. Undrafted free agent Devlin Hodges will be Rudolph’s backup. The Steelers haven’t mentioned if they will sign a 3rd QB.

“It’s crazy. It’s obviously, losing the leader of our team. Just a kind of crazy turn of events with an injury, but I’m excited to step up.” Said Rudolph “That’s what backups do. That’s what I’ve

done my entire career, whether it be high school, college, or now. Nothing different for me, so I’m just going to be the same person I am and continue to prepare. I told you guys I try to prepare like I’m the starter when I’m not. I’ll continue to go through my same weekly routine and put a good game plan together with the staff and go execute.”

Rudolph’s first test as starter will come Sunday as his 0-2 Steelers will travel to San Francisco to face the 2-0 49ers.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on Twitter

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