Q&A: Ben Roethlisberger

The Steelers' injured quarterback gets specific about his injuries and the details surrounding the play in question, but he's unsure how long until he can return.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q. What kind of pain are you in now?

A. Right here standing here talking to you I'm OK. It's just certain movements that are very painful.

Q. Was it the helmet into the sternum? Or the fall onto your elbow?

A. I'm not sure. I know when I hit the ground is when I heard the crunch and the crack. That's what I know for sure. I don't know if anything happened when he hit me.

Q. How long will you be out?

A. Don't know yet. I'm going to get back as soon as I can, I know that much.

Q. What's the issue? S-C joint? Ribs? Both?

A. From what I understand the S-C joint and then a dislocation of the first rib. That's more of 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.

Q. Was it similar to Danny Amendola's injury in that you had to be anesthetized?

A. No. I don't know exactly what happened with the S-C joint, if it pops out of place, pops back in. I don't know all of that. I just know it's a bruise or a sprain, whatever the exact word is I'm not sure. The first rib location is the big issue.

Q. Any concern this could be season-ending for you?

A. I don't think so. I don't know, though. I'm not a medical expert. I'm going to do what I can to get back as fast as I can.

Q. Does the rib have to heal before you can play?

A. Yeah, that's pretty much what I understand at least.

Q. Byron Leftwich, what can you do to help prep him for this?

A. I have no fear because of the backups that we have. Both guys are extremely capable. Byron's a great player who's been doing this for a long time. I know he's going to go out there and give it 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, do that, anything like that. He knows how to play this game. He knows how to play at a high level. I'm just going to be there to support him and give him whatever he needs.

Q. Terrell Suggs said in a conference call that he's disappointed you're not playing.

A. Trust me, I'm disappointed I'm not playing, too. It's tough, especially playing these guys.

Q. What do doctors want to see from you by this weekend?

A. I guess no pain. I don't know. We're just getting treatment and trying to do what we can.

Q. Did they evaluate your rotator cuff?

A. There was no issue with the rotator cuff, so that was good.

Q. Did you say your rib is cracked?

A. It's not cracked. I said the feeling. None of you have probably had this feeling when you hit the ground and something happens. It's hard to explain it but it's just that feeling when you hit the ground and you know something's not right.

Q. What's the pain been like the last couple of days?

A. I got four hours of sleep the last two nights. I've been sleeping in a chair. Trying to sleep in a chair? It's very uncomfortable. Probably about a nine on a scale of 1 to 10.

Q. So what can you expect from fatherhood and sleeping in the chair?

A. I'll have to hold him in my left, I guess.

Q. Are you a dad yet?

A. No, not yet.

Q. What happened on that play? Was everyone covered?

A. Yeah, I felt it was a 22 man and stepped up and was just getting ready to get it to Heath (Miller) and I thought the guy was trying to let Heath clear a little bit more. I actually stepped up to run and the guy kind of closed in front of me, so I tried to find another exit and I turned and there was a guy. Just one of those freak things.

Q. How do Byron's skills fit into Todd Haley's offense?

A. Great, probably a 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 we are with Charlie. We've been set since Day One. Thirty-five years of quarterback experience and it's great to have. He's going to step up and I know he's going to give it his all.

Q. Does he have the touch to dink and dunk?

A. 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 quick getting it out of his hand, whether it's deep getting it down the field. Everyone talks about him having a big arm; he does. But he can make every throw on the football field.

Q. What kind of protection did you have?

A. I wear a flak jacket. I wear my rib pads. I don't think it was the hit. I think it was the way I fell. I kind of hit my elbow and my elbow got pushed up into my body. That's what I think did it.

Q. Do you have any range of motion at all?

A. Yeah I can move it around. That's not the issue now. It's not the amount of movement now. Sometimes when I do move it the rib will kind of pop out of place again, which is pretty painful, needless to say. I just try to keep it as still as I can for the most part.

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