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Roethlisberger still hurting after Upshaw's takedown

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We imagine Ben Roethlisberger would probably sign off on never playing the Baltimore Ravens again if given the chance.

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The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback has said that a 2006 hit by then-Ravens linebacker Bart Scott was the hardest shot he's ever taken in a game. It was another Ravens player, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who broke Roethlisberger's nose in a memorably gross Sunday Night Football incident in 2010.

Last Thursday, Courtney Upshaw completed the bruising trifecta with a punishing helmet-to-chest shot that knocked Roethlisberger off his feet and drew a penalty for unnecessary roughness. Big Ben is still feeling the hit days later.

"I'm hurting today as much as I was at any point I can think of in the last year," Roethlisberger said Tuesday on KDKA-FM, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

"I lost my breath instantly and remember hitting the ground thinking, 'Boy, that hurt a lot.' I kind of pride myself on not taking those big hits, but I sure as heck didn't see it coming."

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin downplayed the hit's role in the Steelers' 26-6 loss. Roethlisberger failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in 31 games.

"I'm sure (the hit) had an impact (on his throwing)," Tomlin told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "But we don't make excuses, and Ben doesn't make excuses. ... (But) it was a substantial hit. I don't know how much it affected him, but it comes with the territory (of playing quarterback)."

Easy for you to say, Mike. As for Roethlisberger, give the man credit for quickly popping to his feet after Upshaw's crushing shot. It must be an acquired skill to act like nothing is wrong when your body is unable to attain and process oxygen.

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