Big Ben thinks his big beard is making people think he looks like a big fatty.
Ben Roethlisberger promises he will shave the hipster-esque facial hair he revealed in a Twitter video last week as soon as he’s ready to return to the playing field. But the rehabbing Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback insists he has remained in shape since September elbow surgery, despite hearing recent fan concerns over his weight.
“I’ve heard people say I’m fat, and that just blows my mind,” Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m lighter and in better shape than I was in either of the past two years. I haven’t stopped working out. I normally don’t work out in the offseason, but I’ve been doing everything five days a week with my trainer. Cardio twice a week. Legs twice a week. Upper body twice a week …
“I guess it’s my beard that makes me look heavier. I must have five pounds in that, I know. But I’m not overweight.”
The 38-year-old Roethlisberger hasn’t shaved since undergoing season-ending elbow surgery after appearing in two games last season.
“I normally don’t have my beard in the offseason, but this is a different offseason,” Roethlisberger said. “I look at it as my Samson effect. As long as I have it …
“When we were flying to Los Angeles for my surgery, I told my wife I wasn’t going to shave my beard or cut my hair until I can throw an NFL-caliber pass again. She can’t wait. She’s ready for it to come off. Maybe in another month or two.”
Roethlisberger posted the Twitter video last Friday to implore fans to remain at home during the coronavirus pandemic and to provide an update on his progress following surgery. The two-time Super Bowl champion resumed throwing last month after being granted clearance by the doctor who performed his surgery.
“I have no doubts I’m going to be able to come back and play well — none,” Roethlisberger told the paper. “I have complete confidence in that. I’m throwing without pain for the first time in years. Some games, I would have a little pain. Some games, I would have a lot of pain. But in the New England game and the Seattle game [last season], it got to be too much. To be able to throw without pain now? That feels nice. That’s a nice feeling. I know I’m not getting any younger, but I feel younger because I don’t have any pain.”
The Steelers finished last season with an 8-8 record, with Mason Rudolph starting eight games at quarterback and Devlin Hodges starting the other six after Roethlisberger was injured in Week 2.
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