But the 17th-year veteran remains a long way away from working out with his teammates in a full capacity. Roethlisberger said it will be around 2 1/2 to three months before he expects to be full go, according to Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter). Roethlisberger underwent elbow surgery in September.
The soon-to-be 38-year-old quarterback said his checkup went smooth enough he was given the go-ahead to skip the tennis ball-throwing stage of this rehab and go straight to footballs, and he has multiple additional throwing sessions coming up in California (Twitter link via Cook). However, it is unlikely he will be a full participant in any Steeler OTA session. Although Pittsburgh’s June minicamp is beyond the three-month window, that might be a stretch as well.
Both Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin are confident Big Ben will make a full recovery and be ready to resume his role as the Steelers’ starter. Years ago, Roethlisberger hinted at retiring by this age. But he since changed course. The Steelers gave Roethlisberger a new contract last year; the two-year, $68MM extension runs through 2021. Of the class of 2004 quarterbacks, he will soon be the last one standing on his original team. Eli Manning retired, and the Chargers will not re-sign Philip Rivers. Big Ben is the second-longest-tenured quarterback in the league, and if Tom Brady surprises most and leaves the Patriots, he will ascend to the top spot.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.