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Ben Roethlisberger reportedly has potentially fatal rib injury

Ben Roethlisberger will not play for the Steelers against the Ravens on Sunday after getting hurt during Monday night’s win over the Chiefs. The Pittsburgh quarterback left the game with a shoulder injury after being driven into the turf and landing on the joint, but it’s apparently not the shoulder that’s his most worrisome problem. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Steelers reporter Ed Bouchette said on Wednesday that Roethlisberger has a rib injury that is potentially fatal.

According to Bouchette, Big Ben has a rare rib injury that “could kill him by pressing against his aorta.” The aorta is the largest artery in the body. It starts by the heart and extends down through the abdomen. The rib reportedly is partially dislocated, and if hit wrong, could potentially puncture the aorta.

Roethlisberger reportedly said Wednesday that the injury is so rare, the last time it occurred was in a rugby player in 1998. He says it’s so painful that he’s only been able to sleep in a chair for four hours the past two nights. He also rated the pain level as a “9” on a scale of 1-10, per NFL.com’s Aditi Kinkhabwala.

The Steelers are 6-3 and currently second in the AFC North behind the Ravens. With two games against Baltimore in the next three weeks and Byron Leftwich as quarterback, earning a spot in the playoffs seems more questionable.

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