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Steelers’ Mike Tomlin believes there’s a ‘strong possibility’ Ben Roethlisberger returns in 2020

Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Tomlin, Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger’s elbow injury will deprive the Pittsburgh Steelers of their starting quarterback for the entirety of 2019.

Said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler:

“He fully intends to come back from his injury, and everything we’ve heard, we’re comfortable that’s a strong possibility.”

Tomlin believes Roethlisberger will be back, and so does he.

Said Big Ben in a post-injury statement:

“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. The Steelers committed three years to me this offseason and I fully intend to honor my contract and reward them with championship level play. 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.”

Roethlisberger should be back. He thinks so, and so does his coach. But it won’t be in 2019. Instead, second-year player Mason Rudolph will be the starter.

Pittsburgh selected Rudolph in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. A former Oklahoma State Cowboy, he’s lauded for his production in college, size (6-foot-5, 235 pounds) and a progressing game which emerged in the preseason. Before Roethlisberger’s injury, Rudolph earned the tag as his heir apparent in Pittsburgh; now we’ll get to see if that’s true.