http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8626611/ben-roethlisberger-pittsburgh-steelers-qb-a-source-saysThe injury Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered to his throwing shoulder Monday night could be pretty significant, one that could take a while to heal, a source close to the team said.
Roethlisberger is "extremely sore" Tuesday morning and "hurting pretty bad," the source said. After getting an MRI on Monday night, he went for another MRI on Tuesday.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin then characterized Roethlisberger's injury as a shoulder sprain at his news conference Tuesday.
"Obviously, his injury puts his participation in the questionable category," Tomlin said.
Tomlin described Roethlisberger's shoulder injury as an "SC sprain." The sternoclavicular (SC) joint helps to support the shoulder, linking the bones of the arms and shoulder to the body, according to orthogate.com. Roethlisberger's shoulder injury is still being evaluated.
A source confirmed to ESPN that Roethlisberger also has a rib injury that occurred on the same play. The source said it remains unknown how long the quarterback might be unable to play with the injury to the front of his throwing shoulder.
Another Steelers source told ESPN that the team's staff was told: "proceed with (backup quarterback Byron (Leftwich). It doesn't look like you're going to have Ben this week. We're looking at next week as a possibility as of right now."
It seemed highly unusual and perhaps an indication of the seriousness of the injury that Roethlisberger went from the stadium to the hospital for an MRI on his right shoulder so late Monday night and remained there past midnight.
A source who was with Roethlisberger on Monday night told ESPN that doctors informed the quarterback they wanted further evaluations and that a complete diagnosis wouldn't be available until later Tuesday.
The Steelers have a short week to prepare for the archrival Baltimore Ravens, their opponents in two of the next three weeks and the AFC North leaders.
The Steelers have two veteran backup quarterbacks in Leftwich and Charlie Batch -- neither of whom has played much recently because of their own injuries, and because Roethlisberger has been so durable.