Add one more to a tough week for NFL quarterbacks. Ben Roethlisberger left Monday night's game with an arm injury after a sack. Replays showed that Roethlisberger was forced down on the point of his elbow. As he left the field jogging, Roethlisberger was guarding his arm, holding it close to his body with his hand down at his waist. Speculation focused on several areas. The first -- a collarbone injury -- seems unlikely given Roethlisberger jogging off the field and not in significant distress. Bouncing while jogging or running would move a fractured collarbone and cause significant pain.
The mechanism where Roethlisberger fell on the point of the elbow is a bad one, because it puts the entire weight of the quarterback's body and the defenders on him to that point, then jams the head of the humerus (bone of the upper arm) into the shoulder joint. The positioning of the body at that point determines the injury. It can be anything from a fracture to a labral injury, a dislocation or sprain. Roethlisberger was seen leaving the field for further tests; an MRI or other advanced scans may be necessary in addition to X-rays and functional tests that can be done at Heinz Field.
Roesthlisberger was replaced by Byron Leftwich, who has not played much over the past few seasons in large part due to Roethlisberger's ability to play through injury. Leftwich is not going to be a real fantasy option in any format and the effect on receivers like Mike Wallace could be signficant. With Rashard Mendenhall still out, the Steelers' best option may be to go to a power offense with Jonathan Dwyer, grinding ground yardage and running the clock.