Injury won't hold Roethlisberger back

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looked battered and bruised, with tape on his broken nose and a boot on his foot, standing in the locker room talking to the media on Wednesday.

"Mario Lemieux told me I finally look like a hockey player," joked Roethlisberger.

And like any hockey player would do, Roethlisberger practiced on Wednesday, not letting the injury get in his way.

"I asked the trainers 'Is there any chance of this getting worse if I practice' and they said no, so I said I am practicing," said Roethlisberger. "I just want to win games and championships."

Roethlisberger was injured when he was hit in the facemask by Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who was not penalized for the hit but was fined $15,000 by the NFL. He did not know how it was broken though, until he saw the reaction from teammates and coaches.

"I knew it was bleeding right away but I didn't know it was broken until I saw everybody's expression on the sideline," said Roethlisberger.

He underwent surgery to repair the nose on Monday and had the packing taken out on Wednesday morning allowing him to breathe easier. He previously suffered facial injuries when he was in a motorcycle accident in 2006 and had plates inserted because of damage, but none of that was affected.

"I did a CT scan before the surgery and they said everything was holding up, it was just my nose," said Roethlisberger. "The plates in my face are fine. They got in there and said the nose bones looked like corn flakes."

Roethlisberger did say that his foot is doing better and that he didn't have any setbacks with it.


Tight end Matt Spaeth, who missed the last two games with a concussion, is expected to play against the Bengals on Sunday and start if Heath Miller can't play with his concussion. David Johnson, who was the only healthy tight end after Miller was injured against the Ravens, should also get more work.

"Matt Spaeth is awesome," said Roethlisberger. "He can do those things (Heath does). Those guys are able to step in when one goes down. Matt will be able to step in. You can never replace Heath Miller, but Matt will do a phenomenal job."

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