Monday morning, the Pittsburgh Steelers and their fans were on the receiving end of difficult news: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would miss the remainder of the 2019 season after suffering a non-contact elbow injury against the Seahawks. The veteran had looked a bit off in the first game against the Patriots in terms of accuracy, but there was no doubt that he would be better as the season progressed. However, that changed in week two.
Following the news, Roethlisberger has officially released a statement about this latest setback. As he explained, this was heartbreaking, but it won't distract from the goals that he has in place for the coming months and years.
"This is shocking and heartbreaking for me, to miss this much of a season and feel like I am letting down so many people," Roethlisberger said in a statement, per NFL.com. "I can only trust God's plan, but I am completely determined to battle through this challenge and come back stronger than ever next season."
From Ben this afternoon: pic.twitter.com/bwfhavUSld— BigBen7.com (@_BigBen7) September 16, 2019
For Steelers fans, the sight of the "next season" in Big Ben's statement should bring about a sigh of relief. Over the past couple of years, the Steelers quarterback has reportedly contemplated retirement on multiple occasions. He has been indecisive at times about his future, but this statement puts that issue to rest. Roethlisberger wants to make it very clear that he will be back with the team and ready to lead them to a Super Bowl.
"The Steelers committed three years to me this offseason and I fully intend to honor my contract and reward them with championship-level play," Roethlisberger continued. "I will do all I can to support Mason and the team this season to help win games. I love this game, my teammates, the Steelers organization and fans, and I feel in my heart I have a lot left to give."
With Roethlisberger now sidelined for the remainder of the year, he will focus on getting healthy in preparation for the 2020 season. How his rehab progresses will play a large role in his future in the league. The Steelers, on the other hand, will simply focus on forging ahead after a tough 0-2 start. There are plenty of pieces around backup Mason Rudolph, so the Steel City favorites should be competitive each week, but they will need to capitalize on opportunities when they arise.
The Steelers aren't in a favorable spot at the moment, but there is still hope for this season. If nothing else, hearing Roethlisberger proclaim that he will be back next year should inspire confidence in the team and the fans.