Roethlisberger Wearing Down?

Jared Wickerham

Ben Roethlisberger underwent "minor" knee surgery on Wednesday, but how much longer can the quarterback's body hold up?

Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is known around the league for his unique style of play. Roethlisberger is an exceptional scrambler how excels at making throws on the run and outside of the pocket. His size and athleticism also make him one of the hardest QBs in the league to bring down. His rough and tumble style of play, however, seems to be taking a toll on his body, how much longer will Roethlisberger be able to play at such a high level?

Roethlisberger underwent what Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin called "minor" athroscopic knee surgery on Wednesday. While he won't miss any game action due to the surgery, it does prompt you to wonder exactly how much wear and tear his body can endure. Ben Roethlisberger has played an entire 16-game season just once in his 9-year career. There has also been a notable decline in the Steelers' success over the past two seasons, once perennial Super Bowl contenders, Pittsburgh was bounced from the 2011 wild-card round by the upstart Denver Broncos and failed to even make the playoffs in 2012. Should Roethlisberger go down, the Steelers could be in big trouble at the quarterback position. Last season, they had two veteran backups with plenty of starting experience in Byron Leftwich and the ageless wonder, Charlie Batch. This season, however, Pittsburgh would have to turn to either former Bengals backup Bruce Gradkowski, who has had some experience as a temporary starter in both Tampa Bay and Oakland, or rookie Landry Jones out of Oklahoma. Jones has all the physical tools to succeed in the NFL, but his decision-making leaves much to be desired as he threw far too many head-scratching interceptions in college, often in pivotal games. The Pittsburgh Steelers' success this upcoming season will rely heavily on the health of their starting quarterback, especially now that star receiver Mike Wallace has taken his talents to south beach.

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