NFL notebook: Shoulder sprain could leave Roethlisberger out for while

When Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger injured his shoulder against the Chiefs, "it didn't seem like a tough hit ... but he came to the sideline and next thing you know he was gone," tackle Max Starks said. "I'm hoping it was nothing." serious.


PITTSBURGH - The Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger left Heinz Field on Monday night with his sprained right shoulder in a sling. When he walks back in ready to play is anybody's guess, according to a doctor who said that type of injury could take up to six weeks to heal.

Coach Mike Tomlin called Pittsburgh's franchise quarterback "questionable" but otherwise offered little detail Tuesday, less than 24 hours after Roethlisberger was pounded into the ground by Kansas City linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston in the third quarter of Pittsburgh's 16-13 overtime victory.

"He is being evaluated," Tomlin said. "Obviously this injury puts his participation in the questionable category for this week."

Roethlisberger underwent an MRI Monday and more tests on Tuesday to determine the severity of the sprain to the sternoclavicular (SC) joint in his throwing shoulder. The SC joint connects the collarbone to the sternum. Treatment can range from a few days of rest and ice to as much as 4-6 weeks said Dr. Victor Khabie, chief of sports medicine at Northern Westchester (N.Y.) Hospital.

"You could tape it, you could do that stuff but the reality is those ligaments just have to heal," Khabie said. "If you go throwing, you slow down the healing process."

If Roethlisberger can't play, the Steelers (6-3) will turn veteran backup Byron Leftwich. He guided the Steelers to a go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter.

Tomlin also called safety Troy Polamalu (calf injury) "doubtful" to play against the Ravens.

Extra points

• The Chicago Bears signed veteran backup quarterback Josh McCown with Jay Cutler (concussion) uncertain for this week. Jason Campbell is expected to start Monday at San Francisco. McCown made two starts for Chicago last season.

• Tampa Bay LB Quincy Black will miss the rest of the season with a neck injury that led to complications with his left arm.

• A Houston grand jury dismissed a misdemeanor resisting arrest charge against Vikings running back Adrian Peterson after hearing from the four-time Pro Bowler and witnesses Tuesday.

• Linebacker Aaron Maybin has been waived by the Jets, a season after he led the team with six sacks. Maybin registered just one tackle without any sacks this year.