What kind of pain are you in now?
Right now standing here talking to you, I’m okay. It’s just certain movements and things are very painful.
When you were hit what was injured?
I’m not sure. I know when I hit the ground is when I heard the crunch and the crack and stuff. That’s what I know for sure. I don’t know if anything happened when he hit me.
How long are you out?
Don’t know yet. I’m going to get back as soon as I can. I know that much.
Re: The injury itself:
From what I understand, it’s the SC joint and a dislocation of the first rib. That’s the scary part because I guess if it goes in the wrong direction it can puncture the aorta. That’s more of the issue I think. That’s probably the more painful part.
How close did the shoulder injury come to requiring surgery?
I don’t know exactly what happens to the SC joint, if it pops out of place or it pops back in. I don’t know all of that. I just know it was a bruise or a sprain, whatever the exact word is I’m not sure. But the first rib dislocation is probably the big issue.
Any concern that this could be season-ending?
I don’t think so. I don’t know, though. I’m not a medical expert. I’m just going to do what I can to get back as fast I can.
Does the rib have to heal before you are safe to play?
Yeah, that’s pretty much what I understand at least.
What can you do to help QB Byron Leftwich?
I have no fear because of the backups that we have. Both guys are extremely capable. Byron is a great player. He’s been doing this for a long time and I know that he’s going to go out there and give his all. I’m going to do exactly what he does for me and what Charlie [Batch] does for me, whatever they need. If he doesn’t need anything, I’m not going to give him anything. I’m not going to be in his ear and tell him to do this or do that. He knows how to play this game, he knows how to play at a high level and I’m just going to be there for whatever he needs.
Re: Ravens LB Terrell Suggs saying he was disappointed you are not playing:
I’m disappointed I’m not playing, too. It’s tough, especially playing these guys.
Have the doctors told you what or when things should happen in the healing process or what is a good sign?
I guess no pain. I don’t know. We’re just getting treatment and trying to do what we can.
Did they evaluate your rotator cuff issue as well?
Yeah, there was no issue with the rotator cuff, so that was good.
Did you feel all of the injuries at once or did the rib injury come about later?
No, like I said, when I hit the ground, I felt a crunch and a crack. It’s kind of hard to explain the feeling that you have. It all just happened at once. I don’t know if it was the hit or the landing, but I felt it more in the landing.
You said crack. Is the rib actually broken?
No. I didn’t say crack. I said the cracking feeling. Don’t get any of that mistaken. None of you have probably had this feeling when you hit the ground and something happened. It’s hard to explain it but it’s just feeling when you hit the ground that you know something is not right.
What has the pain been like?
I got four hours of sleep the last two nights. I’m sleeping in a chair. It’s very uncomfortable. Probably about a nine on a scale of 1-10.
Are you dad yet?
No, not yet. [Laughs]
Re: The play you got injured:
I stepped up and was trying to get it to Heath [Miller] and I thought the guy was trying to let Heath clear a little bit more, and when I stepped up to run, a guy kind of closed in front of me. I tried to find another exit and turned and there was a guy, just one of those freak things.
How does Leftwich’s skill set fit into this offense?
He’s got an incredible high skill level. He can make every throw. He’s very smart and he’s a great quarterback. We’re extremely happy to have him on this team, as well as Charlie. We’ve said it from day one, years of quarterback experience, and this is great to have. He’s ready to step up and I know he’s going to give it his all.
Does Leftwich have the touch to make some of the throws?
Absolutely. If he didn’t he wouldn’t be in the league for as long as he has and be as successful as he has. He can make every throw. Whether it’s a quick one or it is deep down the field. Everyone talks about him having a big arm and he does. He can make every throw on the football field.
The team is 9-5 when you don’t start, but is 0-4 against Baltimore. Are you the X-factor?
No, this is the ultimate team sport. We’re going to have another guy ready to go. It’s Byron this week. He’ll step up and he’s going to do just as good, if not better, than what I can do.
Are they giving you realistic expectations about when you will be back?
Nope. Not yet, unfortunately. From what I’ve heard in talking with the doctor yesterday and I’m going to see him here in a little while, but he said he’s trying to talk to experts because there’s no case study that’s had this exact same thing. From what he told me, it was like a 1998 rugby player or something [that had a similar injury]. We’re just trying to talk to people and get an expectation because we don’t know.
Is it the rib injury that they are trying figure out?
From what I understand, yes. It’s more of the rib that’s the concern than the SC joint.
Is there anything they can do to prevent the rib from going into the aorta?
I don’t think so. Like I said, I’m not a medical expert. I don’t know. I just have to get the answers from those guys. It’d be better to ask them. But you just have to let it heal before you can take that chance.
When did you get the word you wouldn’t play?
We can’t tell you. Coach and I have had conversations. He told you guy today. That’s when the official word came. That was the plan.
Is there any extra protection you can use to protect the injured areas when you return, other than the flak jacket?
I wear one. I wear a flak jacket and I wear rib pads. It wasn’t the hit. I think it was the way I fell that kind of pushed my elbow up into my body. I think that’s what did it.
Do you have any range of motion in the shoulder?
Yeah, I can move it around. That’s not the issue. It’s not the amount of movement. Sometimes when I do move it, the rib will kind of pop out of place again, which is pretty painful, needless to say. I’m just trying to keep it as still as I can.
Can you pop the rib back in then?
Next question please.
Are you going to be able to hold your son?
I better. I’ve got one good arm.
Tags: Ben Roethlisberger
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