Could Ben Roethlisberger’s passing arm be better than it was before surgery?
That’s a theory that’s been out there since Roethlisberger first went under the knife last fall. The quarterback has drawn rave reviews from his coaches and teammates through the first two weeks of the Steelers’ training camp.
But why might a 38-year-old, surgically repaired elbow be better than it was before the injury?
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert hinted during the 2020 NFL Combine that Roethlisberger may have had a nagging injury that was also corrected by the surgery, and Roethlisberger confirmed that during the first episode of his documentary Bigger Than Ben, which was released on Wednesday.
He said he suffered a minor tear of one of his elbow flexor tendons way back in his rookie season, and it’s something that has caused him minor pain and soreness throughout his career.
Now, that pain is gone.
“For the last couple of years, we’ve gone through the same routine, with a full day and then a half day off,” Roethlisberger said Thursday. “I even went three days in a row last week. It’s been feeling really good.”
While Roethlisberger did not undergo Tommy John surgery, has had been widely speculated, baseball pitchers that undergo that procedure also generally see an uptick in velocity after they return to the mound on a surgically repaired ligament. He said he’s seen a little results in training camp that could lend some credence to the theory.
“I think I feel really good making some of the deeper, down the field throws,” Roethlisberger said. “One of the practices, I think last week, I wasn’t able to step into it and I threw a go ball down the sideline. It felt like when it left my hand, it was going to be short, and it ended up making it there in stride. I was pleasantly surprised with how my arm strength has come back, maybe a little better than it was before.”