Ben Roethlisberger missed all but two games last season due to an elbow injury that required surgery. However, the Steelers are sticking with him to be their QB in 2020.
Roethlisberger reached an important benchmark on Saturday when he threw a football for the first time in his recovery. Video of him tossing a ball was shared by the Steelers' official Twitter account yesterday.
It's an important step in the right direction for Roethisberger, who turns 38 on March 2. His recovery appears to be moving along, and he told Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it will be "about 2.5-3 months" until he gets full clearance.
Roethlisberger also told Cook it felt "amazing" to finally throw a football again. He's rehabbing now in California but says a return to Pittsburgh is coming soon.
Without Roethlisberger, the Steelers still managed to go 8-6 under backups Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges. Pittsburgh's 8-8 overall record left them just outside a playoff spot.
However, while Rudolph and Hodges filled in admirably enough, it is clear that neither is a true "franchise" quarterback. The Steelers' best bet to return to prominence in 2020 is to get a healthy Roethlisberger back.
They should also be on the lookout for Big Ben's eventual replacement, either in the draft or next year in free agency.