“Ben Roethlisberger had an MRI on his right elbow Sunday evening and it was determined by the Steelers’ medical team that surgery will be required,” Tomlin said in a statement. “We expect the surgery will be scheduled for this week. He will be placed on our Reserve/Injured List and is out for the season.”
Roethlisberger, 37, left Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks at Heinz Field late in the second quarter, grabbing his elbow after a throwing a pass on a non-contact play.
“(I) feel like I am letting down so many people,” Roethlisberg said in a statement. “I can only trust God’s plan, but I am completely determined to battle through this challenge and come back stronger than ever next season. The Steelers committed three years to me this offseason and I fully intend to honor my contract and reward them with championship level play.”
Second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph out of Oklahoma State replaced Roethlisberger on the team’s first possession of the second half Sunday.
In his first career appearance, the 24-year-old Rudolph went 12 of 19 passing for 112 yards, throwing two touchdowns and an interception. But the Steelers ultimately fell short, losing to Seattle 28-26 and dropping to 0-2 on the season.
“You’ve got to be prepared for those situations, whenever your number is called, and I thought I was ready,” Rudolph, a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft, said to reporters after Sunday’s game. “I had a really good feel for our game plan and what we had worked on all week.”
On Sunday, before knowing that Roethlisberger would need surgery, Rudolph said he would be confident in taking over if Roethlisberger were to miss time.
“If that’s the case, I’ll be ready to roll,” he said.
Roethlisberger is the Steelers’ all-time team leader in passing yards and touchdowns. He has won two Super Bowls (XL and XLIII) and is a six-time Pro Bowler.