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Ben Roethlisberger suffers rare rib injury, threatening long-term fantasy status

Gregory Shamus

Ben Roethlisberger suffered a rare rib injury during Monday night's win over the Chiefs that could threaten his long-term playing status. We break down the fantasy implications.

Ben Roethlisberger has reportedly suffered a rare rib injury that could be life-threatening if he returns to the field too soon, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He dislocated a rib when he was sandwiched between two Kansas City Chiefs defenders during the Pittsburgh Steelers' win on Monday night.

The Steelers have indicated that the rib injury is actually a bigger concern than the sprained right shoulder he was initially diagnosed with. The dislocated rib is apparently pressing into his aorta, and can only heal itself with time.

Fantasy Impact: Byron Leftwich is already slated to start this week against the Baltimore Ravens, and will likely remain under center for a while longer. There is no timetable for Roethlisberger's return just yet, though the safe assumption seems to be that he will miss several weeks.

Leftwich's fantasy prospects are difficult to gauge, considering he hasn't started a game since 2009 and last week's 7-for-14 performance was marred by bad weather. You are probably better off avoiding him on waivers, however.

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