PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger met with the media Wednesday, about two hours after the team officially announced he would be out for Sunday night's game against the Ravens. And Roethlisberger revealed that a rib injury -- not his sprained throwing shoulder -- was the bigger concern.
"From what I understand, it's an SC joint and a dislocation of the first rib," he said. "That's really the scary part because I guess if it goes in the wrong direction it can puncture the aorta. That's more of the issue, I think."
Roethlisberger was sandwiched by a pair of defenders in Monday night's 16-13 overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Roethlisberger had sprained the sternoclavicular (SC) joint in his right shoulder, but he didn't mention the rib injury that has Roethlisberger sleeping in a chair. Roethlisberger said that he didn't know if it was the sack or hitting the turf afterward that caused his injuries.
"I'm not sure. I know when I hit the ground is when I heard the crunch and the crack and stuff," said the 30-year-old quarterback, whose right arm was in a sling. "But I don't know if it happened when he hit me."
Roethlisberger said the rib injury has caused him more pain, and asked to gauge the severity, he estimated that it was a nine on a scale of one to 10. He said he has gotten four hours of sleep the past two nights.
He declined to give a deadline on when he might return. "I don't know yet, but I'm going to get back as soon as I can," he said. "I know that much." But he did say that he didn't think the injury was season-threatening.
The Ravens host the Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on Dec. 2.
Roethlisberger expressed disappointment that he would miss Sunday night's rivalry game, but he gave votes of confidence for Byron Leftwich, who will start in his place, and Charlie Batch, who will be Leftwich's backup.
"I have no fear because of the backups that we have," he said. "Both guys are extremely capable. Byron's a great player. He's been doing this for a long time. I know he's going to go out there and give it his all."