Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a noticeable limp for much of Sunday's game in Buffalo -- a 19-16 Steelers win -- and was initially diagnosed with a sprained foot. Turns out, it's actually worse: Roethlisberger has a broken bone -- the fifth metatarsal -- in his right foot, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The injury reportedly occurred in the first quarter of Sunday's game.
The Steelers disputed Bouchette's reporting, issuing a statement Thursday afternoon that read: "In response to inquiries about Ben Roethlisberger having a broken foot, Steelers spokesperson Dave Lockett said there is no new fracture in Ben's foot. Ben's current injury is an aggravation of an old injury where scar tissue is present."
Despite the injury, whatever it may be, Roethlisberger still expects to play in Sunday's huge AFC North matchup in Baltimore -- the Steelers and Ravens will enter the game with matching 8-3 records. Baltimore won the first game this season in Pittsburgh by a 17-14 margin. Roethlisberger did not play in that matchup, as he was still serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
Since returning to the lineup, he's completed more than 62 percent of his passes for 1,825 yards, 12 touchdowns and only four interceptions. The Steelers have won the five past games against Baltimore that Roethlisberger has started, while they've lost the past three games he hasn't played, including the Week 4 game this season that was started by Charlie Batch.
If Roethlisberger can't play on Sunday, or has to leave the game early, veteran Byron Leftwich is currently listed as the Steelers' backup quarterback.
Even though the injury occurred early in last Sunday's game, Roethlisberger was able to play the remainder of the OT victory, completing 20 of 33 passes for 246 yards. He also scrambled for an 18-yard gain on a third-and-17 play late in the fourth quarter.