Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger revealed Tuesday that he sustained three torn ligaments in his elbow last season, but he said his arm “feels really, really good” after he threw at training camp on Monday.
“Threw a lot of balls yesterday,” Roethlisberger told reporters on a video conference call. “Waking up today to see how it’s going to feel, and it feels great. That’s kind of what I anticipated.
“We’ve been working more than usual in the offseason in terms of throwing, I’ve put together a regime of two to three days per week of throwing for the last probably two months, if not longer than that. I think the plan is to kind of pitch-count, if you will, through training camp.”
Roethlisberger, 38, detailed the elbow injury he sustained in Week 2 of last season, saying he tore three flexor tendons in his elbow, a rare injury for a quarterback.
“From what I’ve been told, it’s never happened to a quarterback of this magnitude,” he said, adding that he had dealt with elbow pain for years. “I believe there was at least another quarterback that had one, maybe two (ligaments) torn off, but from what I understand, not three.”
Roethlisberger said he’s had less elbow pain than in previous years, and he’s lost significant weight.
“I’m lighter than I’ve been in 13, 14 years,” the 16-year-veteran said. “I feel strong, I feel healthy, I feel young, if you can feel young at this age. …
“I definitely feel like I’ve got some really good years left in me.”
The Steelers plan to be careful with Roethlisberger’s reps early, but offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner indicated it’s more about protecting the quarterback from himself.
“I think we’ll have to play that by ear, eventually how he feels and how much he wants,” Fichtner said. “There’s times where he wants it all, and we’ll have to back him off. That’s a good thing.”
In his most recent full season in 2018, Roethlisberger led the NFL in pass attempts (675), completions (452) and yards (5,129), throwing 34 touchdowns and a league-leading 16 interceptions.