Ben Roethlisberger Says He Tore 3 Flexor Tendons off Bone, Talks Injury Rehab

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2020

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger walks onto the field for an NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals in Pittsburgh, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Tom Puskar)
Tom Puskar/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Tuesday he tore three of the five flexor tendons attached to his elbow prior to his season-ending surgery last September.

"There's no real name for it; it's not Tommy John [surgery]," Roethlisberger told reporters. "There are flexor tendons attached to your elbow. I tore three of them."

The 38-year-old Ohio native added he "feels great" after a strenuous arm workout Monday as he attempts to reach 100 percent heading into the 2020 NFL season.

"My arm feels really good. I threw a lot of balls yesterday," he said.

Pittsburgh Steelers @steelers

A beautiful sight to see! @_BigBen7 https://t.co/PkLB32GJNt

Roethlisberger made just two appearances last season before his elbow injury. His absence derailed the Steelers' season, as neither Mason Rudolph nor Devlin Hodges proved capable of filling the void, and the team finished 31st in passer rating (76.1).

The setback also came with the six-time Pro Bowl selection coming off one of his best statistical seasons.

He posted career-high totals in both passing yards (5,129) and passing touchdowns (34) in 2018 to go along with a 67 percent completion rate.

"We've really been focusing on getting to know these young guys, but obviously, he has been throwing," head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters last week. "That throwing has been going well. We like where he is. We don't have any reservations about him being a fluid participant in this training camp process."

The 2020 season will mark Big Ben's 17th as the Steelers' starter after the franchise selected him with the 11th overall pick in the 2004 draft. He guided the team to a pair of Super Bowl titles in 2005 and 2008.

Pittsburgh didn't make a major investment in free agency or the draft at quarterback. It will once again have Rudolph, Hodges and Paxton Lynch competing for the top reserve spot on the depth chart.

So the Steelers' campaign is once again directly tied to Roethlisberger's health. The offense is otherwise built for success. Running back James Conner, wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Diontae Johnson and tight ends Vance McDonald and Eric Ebron create a deep playmaking group.

Barring a setback, Roethlisberger should lead the unit when Pittsburgh opens the season Sept. 14 with a trip to face the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Monday Night Football.