Ben Roethlisberger rib injury a 'greater concern' than shoulder, could 'kill him'

Ben Roethlisberger's shoulder injury is a big concern and it will keep him from starting on Sunday when the Steelers play the Ravens. But it's not nearly as big a concern as the rare rib injury he also suffered Monday, which could apparently kill him.

Yes, kill him. Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Wednesday that Roethlisberger's injury is what will keep him out because it presents a danger of "pressing into his aorta" and ending his life.

This is not a normal rib injury, and it explains a couple of things: one, why we heard words like "unusual" and "rare" when people described Roethlisberger's injury, and two, why he got the hell out of the stadium to see a doctor on Monday night. Smart move.

The injury is so rare, in fact, that doctors apparently told Roethlisberger they hadn't seen it since a rugby player dealt with the injury in 1989.

Roethlisberger also said, per Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network, that his pain level is a nine out of 10 and that he got four hours of sleep in a chair each of the last two nights.

Bouchette doesn't believe Roethlisberger will play for "awhile," and that sounds about right. The Steelers quarterback is one of the toughest guys in the NFL -- pain only seems to make him stronger -- but risking his life in order to try and help the Steelers push for a playoff spot they might end up netting anyway is just silly.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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