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Don't panic over Roethlisberger injury

8/3/2012

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger created a stir Wednesday, when he revealed that he sustained a slight tear in his right rotator cuff during a game last November.

There's really no reason to panic over this. It won't cause him to miss any games. It hasn't even caused him to miss a full practice at Steelers training camp.

This isn't out of the ordinary for throwers, whether it's a quarterback or baseball pitcher, according to ESPN injury expert Stephania Bell. There's always a risk that it could completely tear and require surgery, but Bell said that is far from automatic.

Some will say this injury affected Roethlisberger last season. In the seven games he played after the injury, Roethlisberger threw seven touchdowns and seven interceptions, which are mediocre numbers for a quarterback of his caliber. But when you break down the numbers, Roethlisberger was more affected by a sprained ankle than a shoulder injury.

In three games after hurting his shoulder, Roethlisberger completed 65 percent of his passes, throwing four touchdowns and two interceptions. The dip in his stats came after injuring his ankle against the Browns on Dec. 8. He couldn't step into his throws, which affected his accuracy and downfield passing.

It's reasonable for there to be concern about this. The Steelers aren't going to the Super Bowl if Roethlisberger is in street clothes on game days. But a slight tear isn't going to sideline him. This is Roethlisberger we're talking about. He's dealt with tougher injuries.