Ben Roethlisberger’s season will be ending after he undergoes surgery for an elbow injury, but some around the NFL think that it could be the future Hall of Famer’s career that is actually ending.
On Monday, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin released a statement confirming what fans had been fearing — Roethlisberger would need surgery for the right elbow injury that knocked him out of Sunday’s game. The team posted the statement on its website, saying that Roethlisberger was headed for the injured reserve after he undergoes elbow surgery sometime later this week.
“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,” the statement read. “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.”
While the Steelers will turn to backup Mason Rudolph to take the helm for the rest of the season, some believe that Roethlisberger’s long-term future in the NFL may be in doubt. Fansided noted that this will be the longest stretch that Roethlisberger has ever missed due to injury, speculating that the 37-year-old may decide to retire.
If he were to do so, it would leave the Steelers without a roadmap to its next franchise quarterback, the report added. It went on to add that Roethlisberger is under contract through the 2021 season, but the Steelers do not appear to have a succession plan in place after trading backup Josh Dobbs to the Jacksonville Jaguars and no certainty whether Rudolph will be a capable starter in the NFL.
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) September 16, 2019
There had already been some speculating that Roethlisberger could be retiring, even before he suffered the season-ending elbow injury. NFL star turned analyst Deion Sanders had already predicted that Roethlisberger would not make it through this NFL season, saying on NFL Gameday last week that the Steelers quarterback looked “disengaged” and “disinterested” on the field.
Here is Deion Sanders predicting (correctly) last week that Ben Roethlisberger wouldn’t make it through the season…pic.twitter.com/oxwXvZwGgQ
— Kevin Gray Jr. (@CTSportsRadio) September 16, 2019
There was also speculation that Ben Roethlisberger could miss more than just this season alone. As The Inquisitr reported, there was speculation that he had suffered a UCL injury and would need to undergo something similar to what Major League Baseball pitchers receive in Tommy John surgery. If that is the case, then Roethlisberger could be out for more than a full year and would miss a significant portion of the 2020 season as well.