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Ben Roethlisberger had elbow surgery Monday, Steelers expect full return in 2020

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his elbow in Week 2 and is out for the year. He had surgery on September 23rd, and now we await word on a timeline other than “2020.”

Injured Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger watches the action from the sidelines against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers will start Mason Rudolph at quarterback the rest of the 2019 season, but they still hope to get Ben Roethlisberger back in 2020. Roethlisberger suffered an elbow injury last week and underwent surgery on Monday in Los Angeles, according to a team spokesperson. The spokesperson said he will return to Pittsburgh to begin rehab.

“Once Ben returns to Pittsburgh, he immediately will begin working with the Steelers’ medical staff on his rehabilitation, and he is expected to make a full recovery and return to the field for the 2020 NFL season.”

An elbow surgery is always tricky, and all the more so for a quarterback. There is no specific timeline other than “next year” and so we’ll be left to wait and wonder what kind of timeline develops in the coming months as the rehab process progresses.

Fantasy impact: The Steelers have been vocal in their support for Mason Rudolph, who they drafted in the third round of the 2018 draft. Shortly after Roethlisberger got hurt, the team dealt away a first round pick for defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, suggesting their confidence in at least Rudolph, and potentially a Roethlisberger return as well.

Roethlisberger has hinted at retirement in the past, but has always returned. It’s easy to assume he does not want to go out on a sour note, but until we see him back on the field, that will be something to keep in mind as you consider your options in keeper and dynasty leagues.