Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was ready to put his surgically repaired right elbow on display at organized team activities.
But with the cancellation of the first phase of the offseason -- practice would have taken place April 20 for the Steelers -- and team facilities closed during the coronavirus pandemic, Roethlisberger is dialing back his rehab to avoid any potential setbacks.
"Now that we don't have those (practices), we took a step back and backed up a week,'' Roethlisberger said in an interview with The Athletic. "We said let's just make sure and slow it down some more and take it even a step slower. It's going really, really well, though. The doctor is very ultra-conservative moving forward. We're just trying to be smart, and putting the brakes on me a lot because I was kind of 'Go, go go.' You know me, trying to get back out there."
After two regular-season games in 2019, Roethlisberger underwent elbow surgery on Sept. 24. He began a throwing program that called for him to ramp up intensity at the six-month mark. Roethlisberger said last month he was throwing "pain free" for the first time in years.
Roethlisberger is throwing at home for now, and the Steelers can closely monitor the 38-year-old's progress remotely because he's doing workouts with footballs equipped with a microchip.
"It's neat to have those tools because in your own mind you say, 'OK, that felt 50 percent, that felt 75 percent.' I mean you can do that but it's hard to really tell," he said. "We have this data and it's making it easier and making it able to read these throws. Pretty much every throw we have data on. Right now I do like a 20-throw warmup at 10 yards and then we back up and we do 10 throws at 15, 10 throws at 20, 10 at 25 yards. I'm throwing it right now off the numbers and data, probably right around 60 percent. That's just me choosing to be at that number. I know I can let it go and throw, but what's the point, why? There's no reason to throw as hard as I can right now."
There is no schedule for the start of training camp but the NFL is preparing to start the regular season on time in September.
Roethlisberger said there is no doubt he'll be on the field when the league re-opens for business.
"I'll be ready when it's time," he said.
--Field Level Media