Ben Roethlisberger has a rare rib injury that won't allow him to play until it heals because it could press on his aorta and kill him.
Roethlisberger, his right arm in a sling because of a SC shoulder sprain, said today that both injuries occurred on the same play when he was sacked by Justin Houston and Tamba Hali early in the third quarter in the Steelers overtime victory against Kansas City at Heinz Field.
The Post-Gazette yesterday revealed the rib injury that coach Mike Tomlin did not mention at his press conference on Tuesday, and that it could be as serious as the shoulder. Roethlisberger said it is a dislocation of the first rib that could puncture his aorta and that it is the bigger concern of the two.
"That's the more scary part because I guess if it goes in the wrong direction it could puncture the aorta," Roethlisberger told a large group of media gathered around him in the Steelers locker room at their Southside training facility.
Because of the danger, Roethlisberger said he cannot play again until the rib heals, and has no idea how long that will take, but he did not believe his season was over.
"I'm going to get back as soon as I can, I know that much."
The Steelers announced this morning that Byron Leftwich would start Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field.
Roethlisberger said he's gotten only about four hours sleep the past two nights and had to sleep in a chair.
"Certain movements," he said, "are very painful."Roethlisberger said doctors told him the injury is so rare in athletes that the last one they knew about that had a similar injury was a rugby player in 1998. However, St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola reportedly had his aorta threatened when he sustained an SC shoulder sprain earlier this year because his clavicle was also dislocated and popped inward.
First Published November 14, 2012 6:30 PM