He returned in 2020 after suffering a season-ending elbow injury in 2019 that he suffered on Week 2.
#Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger tells reporters that he tore three flexor tendons off the bone, elbow surgery he believes no QB has ever come back from. Not Tommy John, but somewhat similar and very serious. That he looks and feels this good is impressive.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 4, 2020
The Steelers came up short to the Cleveland Browns in an AFC wildcard playoff game to end their 2020 season.
Many wonder if that was the last time Big Ben would play.
Would he be like Philip Rivers and call it a career after his team’s 2020 playoff run?
Or would he continue in 2021?
Following the playoff loss, Ben talked about his pending retirement decision.
“It will start between me and God. A lot of praying. I still have a year left on my contract. I hope the Steelers want me back if that’s the way we decide to go.”
Though it is not yet clear what Ben Roethlisberger’s plans are, he should retire.
Here are three reasons why.
Ben Roethlisberger's 2020 regular season (Year 17) : Completed 65.6% of his passes (399/608) for 3,804 yards, 33 TD's, 10 INT's, 1 lost fumble & a 94.1 QB Rating (3rd time in his career that he's thrown over 600 passes in a season. 1st 12-win season since 2017) pic.twitter.com/Uw348COuwm
— Lee Harvey (@MusikFan4Life) December 29, 2020
Ben played well and led his team to a thundering 11-0 start.
Roethlisberger had 3,804 yards, his lowest since 2016.
He threw 33 TDs and 10 INTs.
The troubling span of Ben’s season was down the stretch and leading into the playoffs.
He appeared to lose his accuracy, and the Steelers offense sputtered.
Consider in Weeks 14 and 15 combined against Buffalo and Cincinnati, he threw for a total of 357 yards with 3 TDs and 3 INTs.
He rested in a meaningless Week 17 game for the Steelers against the Browns.
The following week, he came back against the Browns in the wildcard playoff and threw 4 TDs and 4 INTs.
2. Supporting Cast
Ben’s longtime center Maurkice Pouncey just announced his retirement.
He was with the Steelers for 10 seasons.
— BlitzburghVideos ✨ (@BlitzVideos) February 12, 2021
Ben is the first one to admit that Pouncey’s retirement hurts.
“I’m still processing him retiring. That’s hard for me…I hate to say he’s the greatest teammate and competitor I’ve ever been around, but at the end of the day that’s what it is — he’s the greatest teammate and competitor I’ve been around. And that’s no slight to anybody else.”
There are plenty of question marks on what the Steelers offense will look like in 2021 with or without Ben Roethlisberger as the signal caller.
Assimilating new players or draft picks could mimic more of a rebuilding phase for the Steelers.
At this stage of his career, rebuilding may not be something that Ben Roethlisberger wants to do.
3. 17 Game Regular Season in 2021
Beginning in 2021, the NFL plans to add a 17th regular season game.
The 2021 football season could potentially be months longer than the 2020 season given that preseason was ostensibly a no-go in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Add an extra game to the season and the expectation of the Steelers making the playoffs which further elongates the season, it is not clear if Ben who will be 39 when the 2021 season starts will be physically up to the task.
Like New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger has a big decision to make and is likely to announce it in the coming weeks.