The Pittsburgh Steelers were shellshocked by the sight of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger shaking his arm in excruciating pain on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. The veteran quarterback was supposed to lead the black and yellow to an impressive victory in the home opener, but instead, he was forced to the sidelines.
Unfortunately for the Steelers and their fans, the news grew even worse on Monday morning. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the MRI revealed that Big Ben would need season-ending surgery on his elbow. He will miss the remainder of the year and will force backup Mason Rudolph into the permanent starting role.
The second-year Rudolph was solid overall against the Seahawks on Sunday, throwing for two touchdowns and 112 yards. However, he also tossed an interception. More important to Steelers fans is that he is not Big Ben.
The two-time Super Bowl champion has been a pillar throughout his entire career and was expected to pair with tight end Vance McDonald and receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster for big plays on a regular basis. There is still an opportunity for Rudolph to perform well in his new starting role, but that will be made far more difficult with the upcoming schedule. The Steelers are set to face off with the 49ers, the Bengals, the Ravens, and the Chargers over the next four weeks, all of which could pose some problems.
Heading into the regular season, the belief in the front office is that Rudolph will be able to perform at a solid level and help the Steelers win games. However, football fans are far less convinced of this fact judging by the reactions on social media.
In recent seasons, Big Ben has been very wishy-washy about his future in the NFL. There were times when he truly made it appear that he would be retiring from the game, but he always suited up for another season. However, this injury could be the final factor that moves him to walk away once and for all. If so, that would mark the end of a very distinct era of Steelers football. Since taking over as the starter in 2004, Big Ben has thrown for 56,545 yards and 363 touchdowns while winning two championships. He has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and an exit due to injury would crush Steelers fans.
We might have just witnessed the end of an era! pic.twitter.com/18cSb7JlO6— BIGOWL (@bwagonpromotion) September 16, 2019
For many football fans, especially those that despise the Pittsburgh Steelers, this is the perfect reason to celebrate the downfall of a team that has won two Super Bowls since 2000 while appearing in three. For others, however, this news on Monday morning was a punch right to the gut that put a serious damper on the day. There was really only one way to react to the news.
Mike Tomlin has endured a fairly rough few months. He dealt with the considerable drama surrounding both Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell before watching them land with new teams, and now, he has to face the prospect of losing his star quarterback for the season, if not forever. Tomlin is known as one of the better coaches in the league, but getting this team back to the winning ways could be far more difficult considering these latest changes.
This is what u look like when ur team loses Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell and Ben Roethlisberger in the span of 6 months and they still expect u to show up to work https://t.co/400hMMWAbU— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) September 16, 2019
Ben Roethlisberger is done for the season, so this means only one outcome for multiple football fans. It's time to sign Colin Kaepernick and let him take some starting snaps. On paper, this makes sense. There would be considerably more attention on the Steelers if Kaep did sign as a free agent, but this is a team that has handled the media circus in years past with Brown, Bell, and other players. Having reporters ask Mike Tomlin about kneeling would be nothing major.
With Roethlisberger gone for the year, the belief is that Mason Rudolph will be impressive and able to help move this offense up and down the field. After all, the Steelers aren't lacking in surrounding talent to make plays. Although there were some more talented options on the roster in recent seasons that are no longer present. For many football fans, this is the biggest storyline.
good thing they still have bell and ab— danny the 🦁 (@80dandelion) September 16, 2019
The news is dire about the Pittsburgh Steelers star quarterback, but fans aren't convinced. They have seen Big Ben suffer brutal injuries in the past, only to come back into the game and lead his team to victory. This is the same quarterback that once suffered a broken nose and a foot injury against the Baltimore Ravens, but he still threw for 253 yards and one touchdown while leading the Steelers to a 13-10 victory.
I'll believe it when I see it. He will be out there for the Ravens game with a bionic arm throwing TDs left and right. I have seen this before!!!— Drew Harper (@Drew_410) September 16, 2019
Losing Roethlisberger for the season is not easy for Steelers fans. This is the man that has delivered countless exciting victories throughout his career and has led his team to the playoffs on multiple occasions. His impact on the Steel City cannot be understated, and now, he is being taken down by a non-contact arm injury. The day can't get any worse for these fans.
Sometimes, the news for football fans is so heartbreaking that they have to take a moment or two to sit back and just ponder life. Did this really happen? Why would this happen to their favorite team? In these moments, it's difficult to function properly at work, school, or wherever they might be.
This news about Roethlisberger was awful for the Steelers fans, causing wild reactions on social media. This was terrible news, but it was time for them to accept it and move on. For some other fans, however, there was another expected reaction – denial. Many were just waiting for the Steelers to say that this was all just a cruel prank.
Ben Roethlisberger is done for the year. This means that there is only one rational move left. It's time to tank and (hopefully) land one of the top-tier quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Dolphins are currently in the midst of Tanking Season, and the Steelers fans want their favorite team to copy this approach. Winning games is great and all, but with Roethlisberger's future in question, it's time to plan for the next era of quarterback play.
Tank SZN pic.twitter.com/SXWUB3qFEk— Tyler (@BagelBoss10) September 16, 2019
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