Ben Roethlisberger Reportedly Suffering from 'Rare and Dangerous' Rib Injury

Jessica Marie@ItsMsJisnerCorrespondent IINovember 14, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 12:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers talks with head coach Mike Tomlin against the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field on November 12, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

UPDATE: Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 1:49 p.m. ET by Jessica Isner

We have an update on Big Ben's projected return date, or lack thereof.

ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger doesn't know when he's going to be able to get back onto the field after sustaining a rib injury that, if aggravated, could potentially kill him:

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger said he does not believe his rib injury is season ending but he is unsure when he'll play again.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 14, 2012

That isn't great news for a Pittsburgh team that really needs to rack up the division wins over the next month and a half in order to compete with the Ravens

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 1:03 p.m. ET by Jessica Isner

We have some further updates on what could be a potentially life-threatening rib injury to Big Ben. 

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette has the details: 

#Steelers Ben Roethlisberger has a rare rib injury that could kill him by pressing against his aorta. Too big risk. Has to wait until heals

— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) November 14, 2012
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#Steelers Roethlisberger said today it's so rare that the last time dr. told him it occurred was with rugby player in 1998

— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) November 14, 2012

#Roethlisberger's rib is partially dislocated and of more concern than the shoulder. Don't look for him to play in awhile. #Steelers

— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) November 14, 2012

---End of Update---

Everyone seems to be worrying so much about Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's shoulder injury that they are ignoring what appears to be a greater problem: his alleged rib injury.

ESPN's Adam Schefter was the bearer of bad news on Wednesday morning:

While focus is on Ben Roethlisberger's shoulder, greater concern is his injured rib. Roethlisberger's rib injury is rare and dangerous.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 14, 2012

According to an report, Roethlisberger is dealing with a shoulder sprain that will keep him off the field on Sunday against the Ravens, and Byron Leftwich will start in his place. 

Per a report, Roethlisberger has sprained the joint that connects the breastbone to the collarbone, and he could miss more than one game—but more importantly, the QB could be dealing with a far more problematic rib injury.

According to an anonymous source via the ESPN report:

[The injury is] rare and dangerous and of greater concern to the Steelers than his shoulder injury. Doctors are concerned that the quarterback's rib injury could lead to more internal damage if he were to play anytime soon.

The team has yet to confirm any news regarding the rib injury. 

Leftwich last started a game in 2009 as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He went 0-3 with 594 passing yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions in that season.

For the 6-3 Steelers—currently one game behind the Ravens in the AFC North—losing their starting quarterback for a significant portion of the rest of the season could be a huge blow. Of their seven remaining games, five are against division opponents and two are against the two-loss Ravens.