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Ben Roethlisberger out for the season, needs elbow surgery

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 15: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers walks onto the field in the first quarter during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Heinz Field on September 15, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will miss the rest of the season and will undergo surgery on his right elbow, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement Monday.

“Ben Roethlisberger had an MRI on his right elbow Sunday evening and it was determined by the Steelers’ medical team that surgery will be required,” Tomlin said. “We expect the surgery will be scheduled for this week. He will be placed on our Reserve/Injured List and is out for the season.”

Roethlisberger, 37, left Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks at Heinz Field late in the second quarter, grabbing his elbow after a throwing a pass on a non-contact play. Second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph out of Oklahoma State replaced Roethlisberger on the team’s first possession of the second half.

Roethlisberger released the following statement on Monday:

I’ve been informed that I need season ending surgery on my elbow to continue playing football at the level I expect. This is shocking and heartbreaking for me, to miss this much of a season and feel like I am letting down so many people. 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.

In his first career appearance, the 24-year-old Rudolph went 12 of 19 passing for 112 yards, throwing two touchdowns and an interception. But the Steelers ultimately fell short, losing to Seattle 28-26 and dropping to 0-2 on the season.

“You’ve got to be prepared for those situations, whenever your number is called, and I thought I was ready,” Rudolph, a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft, said to reporters after Sunday’s game. “I had a really good feel for our game plan and what we had worked on all week.”

On Sunday, before knowing that Roethlisberger would need surgery, Rudolph said he would be confident in taking over if Roethlisberger were to miss time.

“If that’s the case, I’ll be ready to roll,” he said.

Roethlisberger is the Steelers’ all-time team leader in passing yards and touchdowns. He has won two Super Bowls (XL and XLIII) and is a six-time Pro Bowler.

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