Ben Roethlisberger has outlined a desire to return to "championship-level play" for the Pittsburgh Steelers following a season-ending injury.
Quarterback Roethlisberger has previously hinted at the possibility of retiring from the sport in the near future but committed to the Steelers through to the end of the 2021 campaign with a new deal in the offseason.
However, the 37-year-old was ruled out of the remainder of the 2019 season on Monday as coach Mike Tomlin revealed he would require elbow surgery.Roethlisberger, who has won two Super Bowls with Pittsburgh, suffered the injury in Sunday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Roethlisberger's absence deals another blow to the Steelers, who are 0-2 through two weeks, having seen key men Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell leave the team.
But veteran Roethlisberger released a statement in which he suggested he felt he had let the team down and promised to work to return to form and fitness.
"I've been informed that I need season-ending surgery on my elbow to continue playing football at the level I expect," it read.
"This is shocking and heartbreaking for me, to miss this much of a season and feel like I am letting down so many people.
"I can only trust God's plan, but I am completely determined to battle through this challenge and come back stronger than ever next season.
"The Steelers committed three years to me this offseason and I fully intend to honour my contract and reward them with championship-level play.
"I will do all I can to support Mason [Rudolph] and the team this season to help win games.
"I love this game, my team-mates, the Steelers organisation and fans, and I feel in my heart I have a lot left to give."
Backup Rudolph started the second half against the Seahawks following Roethlisberger's injury.
The Steelers were at least boosted by news of James Conner's fitness.
The running back, who missed three games last season with an ankle ailment, left the Seattle defeat with a knee problem but told 93.7 The Fan he had suffered no significant damage.
|Michael Jordan ´pained, angry´ over George Floyd´s death|
|EA Sports delays Madden 21 reveal amid unrest over George Floyd death|
|Coronavirus: NHL plans to test players daily|
|49ers donating $1million to organisations ´who are creating change´ after Floyd death|
|Celtics´ Jaylen Brown leads peaceful protest in Atlanta|
|Goodell says there is an ´urgent need for action´ after Floyd death|
|Coronavirus: David Price gives $1,000 to Dodgers minor leaguers|
|Coronavirus: Massachusetts teams can re-open practice facilities, Celtics set to resume workouts|
|Cowboys´ Aldon Smith still feels great despite NFL layoff|
|Bengals QB Burrow and Dolphins coach Flores speak out on Floyd´s death|
|Coronavirus: NBA ´planning to restart season on July 31´|
|Reviewing the 2019-20 NHL regular season|
|Matthew Judon signs franchise tag to stay with Baltimore Ravens|
|Cardinals´ Hopkins: I´m the best wide receiver in the NFL|
|Eli Apple agrees terms with Panthers after failed Raiders move|
|NFL tables proposed fourth-and-15 onside-kick alternative|
|Coronavirus: MLB´s proposal for more salary cuts a non-starter – Scherzer|
|Browns QB Mayfield ready for ´big year´, but under no added pressure|
|Aaron Jones hoping to be ´lifelong Packer´|
|Coronavirus: Basketball Hall of Fame pushing enshrinement ceremony to 2021|
|Texans DE Watt says asking for extension would be ‘wrong move’|
|Sharks GM says Bob Boughner not guaranteed to return as coach|
|Rams CB Jalen Ramsey says he definitely will report to training camp|
|Coronavirus: NHL announces return-to-play format with 24-team playoff|
|Washington Wizards star John Wall says he is ´110 per cent´ healthy|
|Coronavirus: Lillard won´t play in shortened NBA season if Trail Blazers can´t make playoffs|
|Coronavirus: Dolphins owner Ross says NFL season will ‘definitely’ happen|
|Michael Jordan v LeBron James: How the NBA greats´ playoff numbers compare|
|´There´s a significant place for it´ – Coles´ Celtics embracing AI and data|
|Coronavirus: Tampa Bay Rays open Tropicana Field for limited workouts|
|Coronavirus: Ewing released from hospital and ´getting much better´|
|Coronavirus: NHL releases framework for players to return to club facilities|
|Coronavirus: EuroLeague season cancelled, no 2019-20 champions|
|On this day in sport: Ali wins controversial Liston rematch, Liverpool pull off Istanbul miracle|
|Andrew Bogut leaves Sydney Kings, not retired yet|
|The Match: Tiger and Manning hold off rallying Mickelson and Brady|
|The Match: Tom Brady holes out from fairway to stun Tiger and Manning|
|The Match: Manning goes one up on Brady with Belichick and Foles jibes|
|Coronavirus: New York governor says pro teams can resume training|
|Legendary college basketball coach Eddie Sutton dies at 84|
|Ex-NFL quarterback Leaf arrested on domestic charge|
|Coronavirus: NBA targeting late-July return at Disney campus|
|Coronavirus: Celtics preparing for NBA season to return|
|Coronavirus: NHLPA executive board approves NHL´s proposed return to play format|
|Cleveland Browns offering fans chance to call plays|
|Coronavirus: NBA Hall of Famer Ewing tests positive for COVID-19|
|Joe Flacco: Jets sign former Super Bowl MVP|
|Coronavirus: Russell Westbrook donates meals to healthcare workers|
|Jerry Sloan: ´The Original Bull´ produced iconic Jazz team to take on Michael Jordan|
|Tom Brady: QB does not want to ´be the almighty´ with Buccaneers|
|Legendary Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan dies aged 78|
|NHL, players considering 24-team conference-based playoff format|
|Chiefs CEO says Mahomes extension talks will begin this summer|
|Kraft´s Super Bowl LI ring sells for $1.025m|
|Giannis wants to smoke a cigar like Jordan and celebrate Bucks´ NBA title in Mykonos|
|Coronavirus: NFL games without fans ´wouldn´t be fun´, says Rams star Donald|
|Brady exit leaves AFC East ´wide open´ – Jets RB Gore|
|Dolphins QB Fitzpatrick eager to compete with, mentor Tagovailoa|
|ESPN to make Tom Brady documentary series|
|Ja Morant ´deserves´ Rookie of the Year over Zion Williamson|
|The Last Dance: ´I was not just playing Michael´ - Malone speaks about facing Jordan and the Bulls|
|Teaching Bucs offense to Tom Brady is ´weird´ – Brate|
|Pierce leaves LeBron out of his top five NBA players of all-time|
|Coronavirus: Lakers´ Dudley ´90 per cent confident´ of NBA returning|
|Tocchet confident Taylor Hall will consider re-signing with Coyotes|
|Steelers WR Ryan Switzer says Ben Roethlisberger throwing with ´no restraints´|
|NFL reinstates DE Aldon Smith after five-year absence|
|Browns WR Jarvis Landry says his hip rehab is ´ahead of schedule´|
|Coronavirus: Redskins WR Gandy-Golden says he´s recovered from positive test|
|New England Patriots hand veteran safety Patrick Chung two-year extension|