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Ben Roethlisberger Had Successful Surgery, Steelers Say

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Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger underwent surgery on his right, throwing elbow in Los Angeles on Monday, the team said in a press release.

Early indications from the club are that the surgery was a success.

“Ben Roethlisberger had successful surgery on his right elbow on Monday in Los Angeles at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic,” team spokesperson Burt Lauten said a press release. “Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the procedure in consultation with Steelers team physician Jim Bradley, who began his career at the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic.

“Once Ben returns to Pittsburgh, he immediately will begin working with the Steelers’ medical staff on his rehabilitation, and he is expected to make a full recovery and return to the field for the 2020 NFL season.”

The team has not officially announced what type of surgery Roethlisberger is having on his elbow.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that Roethlisberger will not need Tommy John surgery, an extensive ligament-replacement surgery more notably performed on baseball pitchers.

The 37-year-old said in a statement after his injury that he expects to return ready to play in the 2020 season.

Roethlisberger will be replaced for the rest of the season by second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph, who made his first career start in Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Steelers

James Conner Surprises Dad with New Truck

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One major goal athletes set out to achieve in their career is to be able to give back to those who raised them and helped them. Steelers running back James Conner was able to do that in a big way when he was able to buy his father a truck.

Conner tweeted a video of the entire exchange and moment. Mr. Conner, and that’s referring to James’ dad, was shocked, even going as far as to start handing his son the keys to the truck, assuming it was actually his. James made sure to let his dad know the new truck was a gift. While it’s unclear the exact model of the truck, it’s clearly all black and said to be a new 2020 edition.

The whole Conner family can now drive the truck down to Heinz Field to watch James and the Steelers play next season (if fans are allowed, of course). And who knows what kind of gift James may buy for his loved ones if he can take his game to another level and earn a new contract, something James has been vocal about hoping is with the Steelers. 

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Odds

Roethlisberger, Gronkowski Co-Favorites to Win Comeback Player of the Year

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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski are co-favorites to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year at +400.

Roethlisberger played just two games in 2019 before suffering a season-ending elbow injury against the Seattle Seahawks.

Entering his 17th season, Roethlisberger should be primed for success this season with the help of a reloaded receiving core that added former Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron and Notre Dame-product Chase Claypool at wideout.

Roethlisberger would be the second Steelers quarterback to take home the hardware. Tommy Maddox was awarded the honor back in 2002.

Gronkowski is not returning from an injury, but the former All-Pro tight end is making a comeback all the same.

Gronkowski ended his retirement after just one season to reunite with quarterback Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. One of the biggest mismatches in NFL history, Gronkowski’s 79 touchdown catches are tied for the third-most ever by a tight end.

If he were to win, Gronkowski would join quarterback Chad Pennington as the only other player to win Comeback Player of the Year twice. He won it previously in 2014.

Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt has the next best odds at +600.

The best odds in the division behind Roethlisberger belong to Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green at +1000, fourth-best overall.

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Steelers

Steelers Coaches Return to Team Facility

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With the NFL announcing that coaching staffs can return to team facilities, the Steelers wasted no time getting back to work.

Steelers coaches, including head coach Mike Tomlin, returned to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Friday morning.

With Pennsylvania switching over to the “Green Phase” of its COVID-19 reopening plan Friday, the Steelers were one of the organization permitted to welcome back their staffs, but only if they adhere to local and state guidelines.

The team shared a few photos of Tomlin entering the facility, including an image of the 14-year head coach getting his temperature taken in the lobby. Daily checks are clearly part of the league’s protocols with regards to reopening.

To this point, the bulk of the NFL’s offseason has been conducted remotely, including the Draft and free agency.

Tomlin is most likely excited to return to some sense of normalcy. He discussed how challenging the adjustment had been on a conference call last month.

“We face a lot of challenges, my mentality, and the group mentality is going to be they are challenges that everyone faces,” said Tomlin. “From that standpoint it’s going to be fair and the playing field is going to be level. We have to be light on our feet. There is going to be a period of adjustment from a scheduling standpoint as we gain our footing in terms of logistics of what day-to-day looks like and things of that nature.”

“The entire National Football League will be going through it and I just think if we perform relatively better than others, we put ourselves in position to be that team at the end of the journey. That is always our mentality regarding the start of a season.”

The only team employees that had previously been allowed in facilities were athletic trainers and rehabbing players.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has not yet announced when all player will be permitted to return, but did note in his memo to clubs Thursday that the league is first attempting to finalize their COVID-19 testing program.

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