The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the 2019 season with lofty expectations that disappeared when star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending injury.
After losing Big Ben to an elbow injury, the Steelers were expected to fold. Instead, the team traded for safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and finished with an 8-8 record.
Now, the Steelers enter the 2020 season with Roethlisberger back at full strength. Videos showed the star quarterback letting the ball fly, without pain for the first time in years.
While his recovery is headed in the right direction, Big Ben said there is still one big hurdle to clear. Known for his ability to take big hits and keep the play alive, Roethlisberger said that's the one thing that's missing right now.
"Getting hit and calming the nerves are going to be big for me," he said via Steelers reporter Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Steelers reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala said Roethlisberger tried to get star defensive end T.J. Watt to hit him, with no luck.
"Ben Roethlisberger jokes that he's tried talking TJ Watt into 'giving him little bumps' so he can get used to be hit again," she reported.
Of course the Steelers aren't going to let Big Ben take any hits before the season rolls around. They can't afford to have him miss any part of the 2020 season if they want to contend for the playoffs.