AFC North foes be warned: Ben Roethlisberger's beard is trim.
Eight months ago, the Steelers quarterback underwent surgery to repair his right throwing elbow from a season-ending injury suffered in a Week 2 loss to the Seahawks. Following the surgery, a clean-shaven Roethlisberger made a promise.
"I'm not going to shave or cut my hair until I can throw a football again," Roethlisberger said in a flashback video on his social media accounts. "Throw it to one of my teammates, a legit NFL pass."
On Monday, he kept his word. After working out with Steelers running back James Conner and wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Ryan Switzer and completing some impressive passes on the field at Quaker Valley High School's Chuck Knox Stadium, Roethlisberger promptly visited Norman's Cut N Edge Barbershop in Sewickley, Penn., and got himself cleaned up.
— BigBen7.com (@_BigBen7) May 18, 2020
"He's back," Smith-Schuster gleefully proclaims at the end of the video. "Stay tuned."
There hasn't yet been an official update from the team on Roethlisberger's status, though they did share his video on Twitter. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told fans on a conference call last week that the quarterback's rehab was progressing as scheduled.
"He's doing great thus far," Tomlin said last week. "He's in great physical condition. Rehabilitation in regards to the injury itself is going well. I hear nothing but positive reports from that standpoint. There have been no bumps in the road."
The Steelers' front office and Roethlisberger have both maintained throughout his recovery process that he'll be ready for the start of the 2020 NFL season.
"I think that the possibility is real that he could be a better football player coming out of this surgery, just as much as he might be a more regressed player," general manager Kevin Colbert said at the NFL combine. "So, I think we have to give that the nod and, again, I'm encouraged and excited about where he can go."