Steelers Rumors: Ben Roethlisberger Won't Undergo Elbow Surgery; 'Fine' for 2020

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2019

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Heinz Field on September 15, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger reportedly does not need Tommy John surgery on his injured elbow and is "fine" for the 2020 season.

"There is complete optimism that he will be ready to roll next season," a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. "No one is concerned that next year is going to be a problem."

The Steelers expressed their optimism in Roethlisberger—and, to a certain extent, Mason Rudolph—this week when they traded their 2020 first-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. Some thought Roethlisberger's season-ending injury, coupled with the team's 0-2 record, would present a perfect opportunity to tank for Big Ben's replacement.

"He fully intends to come back from this injury and everything that we've heard, we're comfortable that that's a strong possibility," head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters.

The Steelers previously announced Roethlisberger would miss the remainder of the 2019 season to undergo surgery on his injured elbow. He struggled through his first two starts, throwing for 351 yards with one interception and no touchdowns. His 5.7 yards per attempts were by far a career low.

Roethlisberger is under contract through the 2021 season. He is due a $12.5 million roster bonus on the third day of the 2020 league year, and $16 million of his total compensation for next season is guaranteed for injury.

The Steelers are planning to see what they have in Rudolph, their 2018 third-round pick, for the remainder of this season. Rudolph threw for 112 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in place of Roethlisberger during last week's loss to the Seattle Seahawks