A shoulder sprain will keep Ben Roethlisberger out of the Steelers game with the Ravens on Sunday. The match between the rivals is always one of the most keenly anticipated of the season, and is the first time the teams have met in 2012.
The Steelers (6-3) are a game behind the 7-3 Ravens, and need to win the game to tie the standings, especially with home advantage.
The teams meet again in two weeks time on the Ravens home turf, and the Steelers hope their franchise quarterback returns for that one, but they do not want to risk Roethlisberger aggravating the injury, especially against opponents who sacked him regularly last season, particularly Terrell Suggs.
Back-up Byron Leftwich will come in, a 2003 draft pick for the Jaguars, who has never really fulfilled his promise, and struggled badly with injuries and re-signed with the Steelers in 2010 as back-up to 'Big Ben'.
He came in for Roethlisberger to close out the 16-13 overtime win over Kansas City on Monday.
As a Ravens fan myself, this is great news. But even so, I'd much rather see us beat the Steelers with Big Ben. You want to beat your rivals when they are at full strength, not when they have a ready made excuse for defeat.
The Ravens are now clear favourites to win the division, as Roethlisberger's injury isn't the only one the Steelers are coping with, but it won't be easy on Sunday night. Joe Flacco's road performances have left a lot to be desired. He's a completely different quarterback to at home.
Time to change that. As for Byron Leftwich, he better bring his A game.
Will the Ravens sweep the Steelers for a second year in a row?
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