Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went down injured in Week 2 of last season and the Steelers’ season essentially went down the tubes with him. Big Ben is good to go this year. Here are Roethlisberger’s odds at Mybookie to win 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year as well as the Steelers’ over/under win total.
Big Ben is a lock future Hall of Famer as he has won two single-season passing yardage titles and ranks in the Top 10 career in most categories. He also has won two Super Bowl rings. In 2006 he became the youngest Super Bowl-winning quarterback in NFL history, leading the Steelers, in only his second professional season, to a 21–10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL at the age of 23.
Roethlisberger has the fourth-highest career winning percentage (.710) as a starter in the regular season among QBs with a minimum of 100 starts. He is one of six QBs in NFL history to have beaten at least 31 of the current NFL teams.
Through 16 NFL seasons, Roethlisberger has compiled 56,545 passing yards and 363 touchdowns to 191 interceptions. He has made six Pro Bowls, yet one thing Roethlisberger has not accomplished (and probably never will) is earning a single first-team All-Pro appearance. That’s a shock.
As recently as 2018, Big Ben started all 16 regular season games. He finished the season setting Steelers single season records in attempts (675), completions (452), passing yards (5,129) and touchdowns (34). His 675 attempts, 452 completions and 5,129 yards led the NFL in 2018 and his 34 touchdowns ranked fifth.
In Week 1 last season, Roethlisberger completed 27-of-47 passes for 276 yards and an interception in the Steelers’ loss to the Patriots. Roethlisberger played even worse than his stats. He went touchdown-less on 47 attempts and was limited to check downs, averaging just 5.9 yards per pass.
In Week 2, he exited against the Seahawks in the second quarter with a right elbow injury. That injury would prove to be serious as Roethlisberger had to have season-ending surgery in the elbow to reattach three tendons. On the bright side, he avoided the dreaded Tommy John surgery, a procedure that would have put his availability for the 2021 season in jeopardy. The 38-year-old plans to play out the remainder of his contract, which runs through 2021.
After losing the first three games of the 2019 season and four of their first five, the Steelers went on to win seven of their next eight games. Unfortunately, they closed out the season with three consecutive losses – scoring a mere 10 points in each contest. They missed the playoffs again.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said the team “fully anticipates” Roethlisberger being ready for the season opener. Roethlisberger will no doubt be an improvement over Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges from a season ago.
“As we sit here today, we are extremely confident in his readiness,” Tomlin said recently. “We are enjoying the process that he’s going through right now. Obviously, it’s not without its angst. The guy is coming off a season-ending injury and surgery. But we like where we are. He’s throwing on a rehab schedule, and it’s going well, and we fully anticipate him being ready to go for that opener.”
Roethlisberger himself recently noted the plan was to progressively increase his rehab until he’s “100%” by training camp. Not long ago, he posted a video of himself throwing passes to teammates JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, and Ryan Switzer. Big Ben is feeling so good about his return that he had his beard trimmed last month — something he previously said he would not do until he threw an NFL-type pass to a teammate again.
“I think it’s going great,” Roethlisberger said. “It feels awesome. Still working into it. Luckily, I don’t have to be ready to go until September hopefully. But it feels great. Ahead of schedule and everything so I’m excited. Most importantly, throwing without pain.”
Pittsburgh opens the season on Sept. 14 at the New York Giants. The Steelers are -3.5 at Mybookie.