The Pittsburgh Steelers aren't taking any chances. Fox Sports insider and NFL Network contributor Jay Glazer reports that Ben Roethlisberger will sit out Sunday night's game against the Baltimore Ravens, and Byron Leftwich will start at quarterback.
The Steelers trail their AFC North rivals by one game, but they have to look to their long-term future. They need Roethlisberger healthy for the season's stretch run.
Roethlisberger's shoulder sprain isn't his only injury. Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Roethlisberger also has a rib injury that wasn't mentioned by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on Tuesday. That injury occurred on a third-quarter sack of Roethlisberger and "could also be a serious problem."
Roethlisberger's shoulder injury and rib problem could keep him out a "matter of weeks," and Bouchette wrote that "any speculation" at this point about how many weeks is "just that." This particular shoulder sprain is not that common in football.
Considering how things looked when Roethlisberger left Heinz Field on Monday night, there might be some relief in Pittsburgh that this injury isn't more serious.
But the Steelers can't afford to miss Roethlisberger for long. Safety Troy Polamalu is expected to miss another week. Wide receiver Antonio Brown, running back Rashard Mendenhall and offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert are among the other Steelers shaky to play this week.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.