Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees picked up injuries this weekend, and according to the latest news, things aren’t looking good for these two superstars.
Big Ben will miss the entire season due to surgery he has to undergo, while on the other side, Brees will have to skip at least six games.
Mike Tomlin, Steelers’ head coach, issued a statement in which he informed the public about Roethlisberger’s situation.
“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. “He will be placed on (IR) and is out for the season.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 16, 2019
There weren’t any other details about the injury, but according to some sources, it seems that Big Ben damaged ligaments in the right elbow. It is no doubt a massive blow for Pittsburgh, who already has enough problems. Steelers opened the season with two defeats, and one of them was a humiliation against the New England Patriots, 33-3 at the season opener.
Roethlisberger led the NFL in passing last year with 5,129 yards and is the centerpiece of the Steelers’ franchise ever since he entered the league 15 years ago. He will be replaced by Mason Rudolph, the 24-year sophomore from Oklahoma State. Rudolph earned the backup spot over Josh Dobbs during this preseason when he showed great potential.
He was the third-round pick, 76th overall in the 2018 draft. The Steelers believed that he would go higher, and were very keen on taking the 2017 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner. Rudolph had a solid NFL debut once replaced Roethlisberger, completing 12 of 19 passing attempts for 112 yards and two touchdowns, both to Vance McDonald.
Steelers play against 49ers in San Francisco on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Drew Brees injured his thumb against the LA Rams, during one pass attempt when he hit Aaron Donald’s palm. The 40-year old left the game immediately and was replaced by Teddy Bridgewater. Brees will have to undergo a surgery already this Monday, and the initial prognosis is suggesting that he won’t play at least six weeks. According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, thumb ligaments were heavily hurt.
“It’s very difficult not to be playing,” Brees said. “I’m not used to that. I don’t want to get used to that.”
— David J. Chao (@ProFootballDoc) September 15, 2019
Brees is known as a quarterback who didn’t have any problems with injuries, and who missed just one start because of that since high school. Over the last 15 years, he had at least 15 starts each season.
The NFL’s all-time passing leader will have a solid replacement in Bridgewater, who is the highest-paid backup QB. The 26-year old had 165 yards against the Rams after going on the pitch and was 17 of 30.
The last pick of the first round at the NFL 2014 draft was Sean Payton’s wish before the start of the 2018 season. Some are even suggesting that the Saints’ head coach wanted to test Bridgewater whether is he capable of replacing Brees once the legendary QB retires. It is why he gave him a $7.25 million one-year deal.
Bridgewater was selected for the Pro Bowl in 2015 and was the 2014 Pepsi Rookie of the Year. Once a big prospect, had a severe injury in 2016 which almost ruined his career. The Minnesota Vikings who drafted him didn’t want to keep the QB anymore, and he left for the New York Jets on March 2018. The Saints eventually traded for him in August the same year, sending a third-round pick in exchange for Bridgewater and a sixth-round pick.
New Orleans’ coach has enormous trust in his QB, and he already told that to the reporters following the match against the Rams.
“I felt comfortable with Teddy and do feel comfortable with Teddy,” Payton said.
The Saints are going to Seattle to face the Seahawks next Sunday, and that will be the first start for Bridgewater after a long time.