The injuries continue to add up in the NFL for starting quarterbacks. Last week the Jacksonville Jaguars lost Nick Foles to a broken collarbone, this week we lost Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees.
Ben Roethlisberger will undergo surgery to his injured right elbow and be placed on injured reserve. He is out for the season. Surgery was deemed necessary after an MRI on Roethlisberger’s elbow Sunday night. Drew Brees will need 6 to 8 weeks after suffering ligament damage in Brees’ thumb, however, depending on the type of surgery he ends up having, he could need more time. There is a possibility Brees also ends up on IR, which would sideline him at least eight weeks.
Both Roethlisberger and Brees are veterans of the game. They’ve had long successful careers and each have a done an excellent job of avoiding injuries. In such a violent game, you need to condition your body to be able to heal quickly, take hits and recover in a timely fashion for the next game. The NFL has some of the best medical physicians and trainers available. Players also hire personal trainers, eat specific meals to help build muscle and control their weight along with taking the best men’s multivitamins. But an injury to an elbow or hand is very hard to avoid and is just unfortunate luck.
The Saints will turn to Teddy Bridgewater to lead them the rest of the way. Ideally, the plan will be to win enough games in Bree’s absence that they are still in playoff contention by week 10 or 12. In Bridgewater’s first meaningful action with the Saints, he completed 17 of 30 passes for 165 yards and was sacked twice on Sunday. He led just three field-goal drives in the 27-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Critics haven’t been kind Monday Morning to Bridgewater off the bench performance, but with more preparation with the first-team offense, the Saints might be in good shape moving forward.
The Steelers will turn to 2018 third-round pick Mason Rudolph to take over as the team’s starter for the remainder of the season. Rudolph threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to tight end Vance McDonald but couldn’t complete Pittsburgh’s late push. He finished with 112 yards on 12-of-19 passing.
While fans of both teams will be bummed this week, neither injured quarterback were spring chickens. Roethlisberger (37) and Brees (40) are two of the oldest quarterbacks in the game not named Tom Brady. A youth movement wouldn’t be the worst thing for either one of these teams.