As Ben Roethlisberger went down with a shoulder injury on Monday Night Football in Pittsburgh, a gasp could be heard emanating from Western Pennsylvania (and throughout the world since Steelers fans are everywhere).
According to NFL.com's Albert Breer:
The initial diagnosis the Steelers have received is that Ben Roethlisberger's right shoulder is sprained. They should know more tomorrow.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 13, 2012
Ben Roethlisberger was the latest quarterback on a contending team to find himself getting hurt. Of the four that were injured, Roethlisberger will likely have the biggest impact on the playoff race, as the Steelers have two out of their next three games against the AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens.
But this isn't Ben's first injury, as he's proven to be not only one tough son-of-a-gun, but also one of the NFL's most injury-prone quarterbacks.
Here's a look at the five most injury-prone quarterbacks playing in the NFL today.
Like Roethlisberger, Cutler sustained an injury in Week 10, only for him it was a concussion.
The concussions aren't the only injuries Cutler has suffered, although they're a big reason why he's on this list. In 2011, Cutler fractured his thumb on his throwing hand, which would require surgery and knock him out for the season. Prior to the fractured thumb, Chicago was 7-3, but would finish the season 1-5, knocking them out of the playoffs.
Earlier this season Cutler suffered an injury to his ribs after a vicious (but legal) hit from Ndamukong Suh. However, the injury only knocked him out for all of one play.
Cutler's most infamous injury came in the 2010 NFC Championship, when an injured knee knocked him out of the game. Cutler's toughness was subsequently questioned throughout social media, including a tweet from Maurice Jones-Drew.
Despite the criticism, Cutler has proven himself to be very tough, and his knee injury was shown to be more serious than previously believed. But there is the possibility that for the third straight year, an injury to Jay Cutler derails a promising season for the Chicago Bears.
Matthew Stafford is another quarterback who's been injury prone since coming into the league.
The Detroit Lions' No. 1 pick in 2009, Stafford started 10 games before being placed on IR in Week 16 with injuries to his knee and shoulder. However, his biggest injury came the following season.
In 2010, Stafford suffered a separated shoulder which would again place him on injured reserve. This time he had to make the trip down to Birmingham, Alabama in order to repair the Grade 3 separation.
Since then, Stafford has made sporadic appearances on the injury list, but usually with terms like "probable" or "questionable" next to his name. His shoulder appears to be fine right now, and he has played well since his last big injury.
Sam Bradford has been injury prone ever since he played at Oklahoma.
Bradford's first major injury was a separated shoulder during Oklahoma's season opener in his junior year. He would eventually re-injure his shoulder and miss the rest of the season.
After being drafted No. 1 overall by the Rams in 2010, Bradford put up an rookie impressive season that had St. Louis fans excited for the future. However, he missed six games last year with a high ankle sprain, and the Rams finished with a 2-14 record.
Bradford has remained healthy in 2012, but his history makes Rams fans wince every time he's hit hard in the pocket.
Considering that Ben Roethlisberger inspired this slideshow and also this article by Chris Roling, it's safe to say that he's a shoe-in to be on this list.
Roethlisberger has missed 16 games due to injury since becoming Pittsburgh's starting quarterback in 2004 (he missed another four games due to a suspension in 2010).
His list of injuries cover almost every part of the human anatomy, and he has only played all 16 games in an NFL season once.
But upon looking at his injury history, it's actually a wonder that he hasn't missed more games. That just goes to prove how tough Roethlisberger is.
Michael Vick, like Jay Cutler, suffered a concussion in Week 10 which forced him to leave his game against the Dallas Cowboys.
For Vick, this is just another in a long list of injuries.
Vick's injury history is so extensive that this list actually misses a few (due to it only dating back to 2004). In 2003, Vick missed most of the season for the Falcons after suffering a broken leg during a preseason game.
Vick's injury history has even become a somewhat tasteless semi-meme, as the website BlackSportsOnline created the game "Mike Vick Injury Bingo."
Vick has played hurt in the past, but his latest injury will likely have him out for quite a while, with Andy Reid stating the the concussion suffered by Vick was "pretty significant." (h/t The Huffington Post)
Like Roethlisberger and Cutler, Vick's injury history has a lot to do with his playing style. Each of these quarterbacks aren't afraid to run or move around in the pocket when they have to, and all three of them have played behind a suspect offensive line for quite a while.
While these quarterbacks are injury prone, they're also tough players. The only one I wouldn't expect to see back this season is Mike Vick, and that is as much about his performance in 2012 as it is about his significant injury.