Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger Says He Feels Younger After Surgery on Elbow Injury

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 20, 2020

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) stands on the sideline during the second half of a 28-26 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. Roethlisberger did not play the second half of the game. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers star Ben Roethlisberger is optimistic about his ability to play at a high level in 2020 after playing just two games last season because of an elbow injury that required surgery. 

In an interview with Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger said he feels "younger because I don't have any pain" after having his elbow surgically repaired. 

Roethlisberger left Pittsburgh's Week 2 loss against the Seattle Seahawks in the second half after shaking his arm following a pass in the second quarter. 

The Steelers announced the following day that Roethlisberger's MRI revealed he would need season-ending surgery. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport noted the six-time Pro Bowler didn't need Tommy John surgery, which would require a longer rehab process. 

There has been some concern among Steelers fans about Roethlisberger's physique stemming from his appearance with a bushy beard at a Kansas-West Virginia basketball game last month.

Despite those concerns, Roethlisberger assured everyone he is in great physical condition:

“I’ve heard people say I’m fat, and that just blows my mind. I’m lighter and in better shape than I was in either of the past two years. I haven’t stopped working out. I normally don’t work out in the offseason, but I’ve been doing everything five days a week with my trainer. Cardio twice a week. Legs twice a week. Upper body twice a week …

“I guess it’s my beard that makes me look heavier. I must have five pounds in that, I know. But I’m not overweight.”

Roethlisberger told Cook he's throwing about 40 passes each day around 20 yards, and he will "gradually ramp up the number of days and the throws and the distance and the velocity."

There is additional optimism about a return to form for the Steelers quarterback. General manager Kevin Colbert told reporters last month at the NFL Scouting Combine they "might have a better Ben Roethlisberger coming out of this surgery."

In his last full season, Roethlisberger led the NFL with 5,129 passing yards and set a career-high with 34 touchdowns in 2018. 

The Steelers will be counting on Roethlisberger to get them back in the playoff picture after missing out on the postseason each of the past two seasons.