So remember that shoulder injury suffered by Ben Roethlisberger against the Chiefs on Monday night? Well, turns out it wasn’t just a shoulder injury. In fact, the shoulder part of the injury isn’t what has Roethlisberger and the Steelers most concerned. There was also a rib injury involved. And it was scary:
#Steelers Ben Roethlisberger has a rare rib injury that could kill him by pressing against his aorta. Too big risk. Has to wait until heals
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) November 14, 2012
Specifically, Roethlisberger suffered a dislocated first rib. It’s uncertain when he’ll play again, but he’s hoping to be back at some point this season. Safe to say, though, Big Ben shouldn’t even think about playing football until that rib is fully healed. Injuries involving the heart are the scariest kinds of injuries. He might hope he can come back this season, but if he can’t, he can’t. This isn’t the kind of injury where you chance it.
And it brings back to the forefront another question: is there any way to prevent this type of stuff from happening? I don’t see one. Almost all the talk of safety in football is about head injuries – speaking of injuries it’s hard to prevent in a sport as rough-and-tumble as football – but think of what injuries we’ve seen this season: this one, to Roethlisberger. Danny Amendola’s dislocated clavicle that could have been life-threatening. As time goes on, is it inevitable that one of these “could have been life-threatening” injuries is actually life-threatening?
As a football fan, I hate posing that question, but it’s one that’s not going away as we all become more educated on the dangers of the game – a game played by ever-bigger, stronger, faster players capable of injuring opponents – or themselves – with ever-greater ease. Most likely we’ll do in the wake of the Roethlisberger news what we always do in the wake of hearing about serious injuries in football – ask these questions, then put them aside. Again, we’re football fans who want to keep enjoying the game.
But that compartmentalizing will get harder the more we hear about injuries like this. At the very least, let’s hope Roethlisberger takes this injury as seriously as he can possibly take it, so we at least don’t hear about another injury like this to him.