Roethlisberger intends to honor 3 years left on Steelers contract

Ben Roethlisberger out for the season, will have elbow surgery

The AFC North got a wrench thrown in the perceived order of things during Week 2, where two teams dropped to 0-2 and the Pittsburgh Steelers lost Ben Roethlisberger to a season-ending injury.

Roethlisberger was hurt late in the second quarter of Sunday's loss, grabbing his elbow after attempting a pass on the team's final drive of the half.

The Steelers will now turn to second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph to save their season. He will likely take over the starting role going forward.

Later Monday, Roethlisberger said in a statement that the news was "shocking and heartbreaking" and that he feels "like I am letting down so many people". In the interim, he plans to support backup quarterback Mason Rudolph however he can.

Roethlisberger is the Steelers' all-time team leader in passing yards and touchdowns. Instead, he'll play out the remainder of his contract. "I love this game, my teammates, the Steelers organization and fans, and I feel in my heart I have a lot left to give", said the 16-year veteran. Tomlin added that Minkah Fitzpatrick, who the team acquired via trade with the Dolphins, will play Sunday against the 49ers at safety and that running back James Conner's injury status dealing with a knee issue would be day-to-day. Depending on the nature of the surgery, Roethlisberger could need more than one year to rehab from the injury.

"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 National Football League draft, said to reporters after Sunday's game. "I thought I was ready".

"I'm completely confident", Rudolph said via ESPN.

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