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Ben Roethlisberger's rib injury is rare, dangerous

We told you earlier Wednesday that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would sit out this week's game against the Baltimore Ravens, in part because of his previously undisclosed rib injury.

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Roethlisberger says his rib is partially dislocated and he has no timetable to return. The rib problem actually is more severe than his shoulder injury. How rare is the injury? The last time his doctor heard of it was in 1998 with a rugby player.

Roethlisberger told reporters Wednesday that the injury could kill him by pressing against his aorta and puncturing his lung. So that's not good.

Roethlisberger's rib is partially dislocated. Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com and NFL Network passes along word from Roethlisberger that his pain level is at a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. He's only sleeping four hours per night.

"I can move (the arm) around, that's not the issue," Roethlisberger said Wednesday, via The Associated Press. "Sometimes when I do move it the rib will kind of pop out of place again, which is pretty painful. I just try to keep it as still as I can for the most part."

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette doesn't expect Roethlisberger to play for a while.

The seasons change, but one thing remains the same. No one does drama in Pittsburgh quite like Big Ben. This rib injury just might cost the Steelers any chance at winning the AFC North

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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