Ben Roethlisberger vows to return better than ever, adding: 'I'm not overweight'

Sporting News

Ben Roethlisberger has "no doubts" he can return to his peak form for the Pittsburgh Steelers after undergoing elbow surgery, adding that he feels better than he has done in years.

The 38-year-old quarterback had three flexor tendons reattached in September after being restricted to two appearances in the 2019 NFL season. A thriving defense was held back by patchy quarterback play from Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges as the Steelers went 8-8 without the two-time Super Bowl winner.

Big Ben's health is therefore a huge priority going into 2020, but he has no concerns over his recovery.

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"I have no doubts I’m going to be able to come back and play well — none," Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I have complete confidence in that.

"I'm throwing without pain for the first time in years. Some games, I would have a little pain. Some games, I would have a lot of pain. But in the New England game and the Seattle game, it got to be too much.

"To be able to throw without pain now? That feels nice. That's a nice feeling. I know I'm not getting any younger, but I feel younger because I don't have any pain.

"There’s pressure, but I put more pressure on myself. As much as the fans and my teammates want me out there, I want to be out there even more. I saw last season what this team is capable of doing. I'm pushing myself to come back better than ever."

Roethlisberger started throwing again last month and is gradually building up his intensity.

He also laughed off concerns over his physique after recent appearances in a Steelers team video and at a college basketball game prompted some interesting critiques.

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"I've heard people say I'm fat, and that just blows my mind," he said. "I'm lighter and in better shape than I was in either of the past two years. I haven't stopped working out. I normally don't work out in the offseason, but I've been doing everything five days a week with my trainer. Cardio twice a week. Legs twice a week. Upper body twice a week.

"I guess it's my beard that makes me look heavier. I must have five pounds in that, I know. But I'm not overweight."

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