Ben Roethlisberger cites “total reconstruction” of elbow when asked about deep passes in 2020

The Steelers didn’t do a very good job of throwing the ball down the field in 2020. On Tuesday, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did his best to explain why the Steelers didn’t do a better job of going vertical.

“You know I had total reconstruction on my elbow,” he told reporters regarding his 2019 procedure, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com. “That might have something to do with it. But no excuses.”

No excuses. Except the excuse.

It’s unclear whether the elbow really was an issue last season. Many believe that the Steelers simply used the short passing game as a replacement for an ineffective running game. If the elbow surgery placed limitations on Roethlisberger in 2020, the question becomes whether those limitations will linger in 2021.

Now 39, Roethlisberger could have other physical issues in his 18th season. It’s one of the risks the Steelers assumed when standing pat with Roethlisberger for another season.