Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee during Sunday’s 30-15 loss to the Miami Dolphins, according to Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who added that there is currently no timetable for his return.
Roethlisberger will have surgery on Monday to “trim” his torn meniscus, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, who added that Roethlisberger is out for Week 7 against the New England Patriots.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, doctors expect the procedure to be a “clean up” and not a full repair, which will lead to a faster recovery.
Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com noted the quarterback said his knee was black and blue after the game: “It obviously hurts.”
Roethlisberger described what happened, “It actually happened before I threw the ball. I don’t know how it happened. I just felt something funny in my knee. We don’t know anything yet. We’ll know tonight. Hopefully, we’ll just pray it’s not too serious.”
With Roethlisberger having turned 34 years old in March, the Steelers are getting closer to the day when they’ll need to move on from him. Pittsburgh had a brief look at the future when Big Ben suffered a knee injury in the middle of the 2015 season.
Landry Jones and Michael Vick filled in at quarterback, with neither looking strong under center. Jones had 513 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions in his seven games, while Vick threw for 371 yards and two touchdowns with one interception in five appearances. Despite having one of the NFL’s best receivers in Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh wasn’t able to maintain a quality aerial attack in Roethlisberger’s absence last season.
In 2016, the situation isn’t much different. Vick is gone, but Jones, who entered Sunday’s contest, is an option should Roethlisberger miss more time.
A healthy Le’Veon Bell in the backfield will take some pressure off the passing game. DeAngelo Williams exceeded expectations in 2015 by rushing for 907 yards and 11 touchdowns, but Bell brings more to the offense.
Still, much of the Steelers’ fortunes in 2016 rest on Roethlisberger’s shoulders. The longer he’s out, the lower the likelihood of Pittsburgh making the postseason for the third year in a row.