Two playoff contenders acquired the information each workforce dreads on Monday: a severe harm that may preserve their beginning quarterback out.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, the information was worse. Ben Roethlisberger will want surgical procedure on his elbow, Coach Mike Tomlin mentioned in a press release. He is out for the season.
Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints might be out about six weeks recovering from surgical procedure to restore a torn ligament in his throwing hand, the NFL Network and different information retailers reported.
Roethlisberger, 37, has been synonymous with the Steelers almost your entire century, beginning at the very least 11 video games each season since his rookie yr of 2004. He has missed vital time solely twice in his profession. He served a four-game suspension for violating the N.F.L.’s private conduct coverage in 2010 after he was accused of sexual assault. The Georgia police finally determined not to cost him within the case. He additionally sat out 4 video games with a sprained medial collateral ligament in 2015. He led the workforce to Super Bowl victories after the 2005 and 2008 common seasons.
He didn’t return for the second half towards the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday after hurting his elbow. The workforce went on to lose, 28-26.
The harm comes at a nasty time for the Steelers, who’re off to a uncommon Zero-2 begin. They will now have to attempt to flip that round behind Mason Rudolph, a third-round pick of Oklahoma State a yr in the past. He didn’t get into any video games final season because the third-stringer, however was promoted to second string this yr, and fared properly in his surprising debut, going 12 for 19 for 112 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
“You have to be prepared for those situations whenever your number is called,” Rudolph instructed The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I thought I was ready. I had a really good feel for our game plan and what we worked on all week.”
Like Roethlisberger, Brees has been incredibly durable over a long and productive career. Every year for the past 13, he started 15 or 16 games for the Saints. That time included the Saints’ only Super Bowl win, after the 2009 season.
In the first quarter of a 27-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, as he threw a pass, Brees’s hand made contact with the hand of defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
After the game, Brees said he did not know the extent of his injury, but acknowledged: “It’s very difficult. It’s very difficult not to be playing. I’m not used to that. I don’t want to get used to that.
“You hit your hands on stuff all the time, right? On helmets and different things. You might get jammed thumbs, jammed fingers and different things where it swells up and what have you. This felt like something a bit more significant and prevented me from gripping the ball.”
Donald said: “I just tried to get the ball. I felt myself hit his hand as he released it.”
Brees, 40, had defied his age this season, leading the Saints to a 30-28 win over the Houston Texans while passing for 370 yards. He completed three of five passes before his injury on Sunday.
Now the Saints will turn to Teddy Bridgewater, who started one game last season. He was last a regular starter with the Minnesota Vikings in 2015, when he made the Pro Bowl. But he missed 2016 with a serious leg injury and never got his job back. Bridgewater was 17 for 30 for 165 yards subbing for Brees on Sunday. He had no touchdowns or interceptions.
Another option for the Saints is Taysom Hill, a quarterback from Brigham Young who is nominally the third-stringer but who has been playing a variety of roles for the team, including rushing and catching passes. Hill completed three of seven pass attempts for the team in 2018.
The Saints’ next six games are a mixed bag. Away games at Seattle next week, and at Jacksonville and Chicago in October could all be tricky, as could a home game against the Cowboys. Despite Brees’s absence, the Saints will hope for wins in home games against the Buccaneers and Cardinals.