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Report: Ben Roethlisberger likely out for three games

The Pittsburgh Steelers might have to roll with Byron Leftwich at quarterback for a while.

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ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that Steelers doctors believe starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will miss three weeks with his ribs and shoulder injuries, although the team hasn't given up hope that he could sit out just two games. If that's the case, Roethlisberger would suit up against Baltimore Ravens when the teams meet again in Week 13.

We believe the Steelers still have a shot to win Sunday night against the Ravens, even with Leftwich at quarterback. Pittsburgh also has a road date against the Cleveland Browns next week, which won't be easy assuming Roethlisberger is out.

There never is a good time to lose a franchise quarterback, but this news is crushing for Steelers fans. They need to split with the Ravens to have any shot at the AFC North. They could wind up letting teams like the Cincinnati Bengals back into the playoff race.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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