Motorcycle accident hasn’t damaged quarterback’s enthusiasm: Roethlisberger guarantees he’ll be ready for the football season
STATELINE – In one of his first public appearances since his June 12 motorcycle accident, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger appeared healthy and upbeat when he spoke to reporters on Friday before the first round of the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
Roethlisberger, who wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, suffered a broke jaw and several other facial bones. The 24-year-old quarterback can now eat solid food after being limited to milkshakes and protein shakes in the weeks immediately following the accident.
“Every day I wake up and I feel a little bit better,” said Roethlisberger, who became the youngest quarterback to win the Super Bowl when he led the Steelers to a 21-10 win over Seattle in Super Bowl XL in Detroit. “Maybe people criticize me for being out here, but I’m trying to live my normal life and I need to get back to that.”
Roethlisberger was grouped with actor Ray Romano and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber for Friday’s first round. The 54-hole tournament ended on Sunday, just 12 days before the Steelers open training camp. The quarterback that has a 27-4 record as a starter said there’s no chance he won’t be ready for the upcoming season.
“I guarantee I’ll be ready,” said Roethlisberger, who crashed his motorcycle in a Pittsburgh intersection. “I’ve working out for two weeks now … throwing, running, lifting. My goal is to be 100 percent, and I think I can get there. If not, I’ll be 99 percent.”
Roethlisberger and Houston Texans quarterback finished in a tie for 47th place at +9 in a modified Stableford scoring format. Roethlisberger began Sunday’s final round at +4 and had conventional scoring rounds of 85-85-83 for a three-day total of 253.
The Stableford format awards six points for an eagle, three points for a birdie, one point for a par, zero points for bogey and Ð2 points for double bogey.
Roethlisberger gave his first live interview since the accident last Wednesday to ESPN’s Jim Rome. He also appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday. During his interview with ESPN, he told Rome he was “seconds, maybe a minute away from dying” after the accident.
In addition to the broken jaw and other facial bones, Roethlisberger had five plates inserted in his head and still has swelling around his lips. But other than the swelling and red blotches around his eyes, he looks normal.
“He looks fine,” said businessman Donald Trump, who spoke with Roethlisberger before Friday’s first round and played in his group on Saturday and Sunday. “He actually looks better than he used to look. It shows how tough Ben is. If it was anybody else, he’d still be in the hospital.”
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