In a bit of unexpected news, the AFC North is now down one starting quarterback, as the 0-2 Pittsburgh Steelers have revealed that Ben Roethlisberger’s elbow injury is serious enough to require season ending surgery:
The Steelers announce that Ben Roethlisberger will undergo elbow surgery and miss the remainder of the season. pic.twitter.com/d9gddrCO5r— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 16, 2019
This is a massive blow to a team that many saw as ready to continue contending, even in the wake of the high profile losses of two big offensive stars in the last two seasons. For better or for worse, this is Mason Rudolph’s team now, and the 2018 3rd round pick will see the first extended action of his young career which officially began against Seattle on Sunday.
The rest of the division now have to like their chances a bit better, specifically Baltimore and Cleveland who were thought to be the other two contenders to take the title home come January. We’ll see how Rudolph performs moving forward (he actually played decent in limited action against the Seahawks) but for now it appears that the North is thinning into a two horse race.