Mike Tomlin: Steelers 'Extremely Confident' in Ben Roethlisberger's Injury Rehab

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 8, 2020

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 10:  Ben Roethlisberger and head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers look on during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Heinz Field on November 10, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin expressed optimism regarding quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's rehab process in an interview with NFL Network's Steve Wyche on Thursday.

"You know, as we sit here today, we're extremely confident in his readiness," Tomlin said. "We're enjoying the process that he's going through right now. Obviously it's not without its angst—the guy's coming off season-ending injury and surgery—but we like where we are, he's throwing on a rehab schedule, it's going well, and we fully anticipate him being ready to go for that opener."

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The Steelers open on Monday Night Football on the road against the New York Giants Sept. 14. 

The 38-year-old signal-caller suffered a season-ending right elbow injury in Week 2 of the 2019 NFL season. Word emerged afterward, however, that Roethlisberger had been dealing with an elbow ailment for some time.

ESPN's Brooke Pryor provided more information:

"The question seems easy enough, but we don’t know exactly how long Roethlisberger dealt with the elbow pain before he exited the field at halftime of the Week 2 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

"[Quarterback Mason Rudolph] told reporters Roethlisberger disclosed to him after the Week 1 loss that he was experiencing some pain, while longtime teammate Maurkice Pouncey told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that Roethlisberger had been dealing with elbow soreness 'for the last few years.'"

Roethlisberger missed his team's final 14 games as backups Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges each piloted the Steelers the rest of the way. 

At the least, an encouraging sign in Roethlisberger's rehab process dropped February 22 when video captured him throwing a football inside a gymnasium.

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Although Roethlisberger's rehab road appears to be a long one, signs are pointing toward him being ready for the 2020 opener and starting for Pittsburgh in his 17th NFL season.