Team fears significant injury to QB
Ed Werder [ARCHIVE]
ESPN | November 13, 2012
The Pittsburgh Steelers fear quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has suffered a pretty significant injury to his throwing shoulder, an injury that a source close to the team says is probably going to take a while to heal.
Big Trouble Without Big Ben
Ben Roethlisberger has been on the field for nearly 90 percent of the Steelers regular-season snaps over the last five years including 92 percent of Pittsburgh's designed pass plays.
It seemed highly unusual and perhaps an indication of the seriousness of the injury that Roethlisberger went from the stadium to the hospital for an MRI on his right shoulder so late at night and remained there past midnight.
Sources say initial reports on Roethlisberger show a sprain, but a source who was with Roethlisberger on Monday night told ESPN that doctors informed the quarterback they wanted further evaluations and a complete diagnosis won't be available until later Tuesday.
The Steelers have a short week to prepare for the archrivals Baltimore Ravens, their opponent in two of the next three weeks and the AFC north leader.
The Steelers have two veteran backup quarterbacks in Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch -- neither of whom has played much recently because of their own injuries and because Roethlisberger has been so durable.
Roethlisberger was sacked by the Chiefs' Justin Houston to end Pittsburgh's first possession of the second half. Roethlisberger finished 9-of-18 for 84 yards and a touchdown for the Steelers, who won their fourth straight game by beating Kansas City 16-13 in overtime to improve to 6-3.
Coach Mike Tomlin wouldn't speculate Monday night on the severity of Roethlisberger's injury.
Roethlisberger has been largely injury-free this season in offensive coordinator Todd Haley's system, which requires him to get rid of the ball quickly. Kansas City's secondary, however, shut down Pittsburgh's receivers, and Roethlisberger took a series of hits on a wet night at Heinz Field.
Leftwich replaced Roethlisberger and finished 7-of-14 for 73 yards in the victory. Leftwich managed to lead the Steelers on one scoring drive early in the fourth that gave them a 13-10 lead.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.