Ben Roethlisberger had a bum ankle towards the end of last season, and according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he was also dealing with a tear in his right rotator cuff since November of 2011.
Roethlisberger told the Post-Gazette, "I’m good. It’s OK, just sore. I have a little torn rotator cuff. That doesn’t heal. We just have to hope it doesn’t tear the rest of the way, according to Doc. It actually feels great. I don’t have any pains anymore. Let’s just hope it doesn’t get any worse."
Part of the problem with Roethlisberger's admission is that the injury should have been included on the Steelers' injury report last season. Still, the injury can't be used as an excuse for the struggles he experienced at the tail end of last season and the Steelers' playoff loss to the Broncos.
The real concern for the Steelers comes if the partially torn rotator cuff gets torn further. Should it become a full tear, Byron Leftwich or Charlie Batch would be the Steelers' two options. Leftwich has a knack for sustaining injuries of his own, and Charlie Batch has been a reliable backup since joining the Steelers in 2003. Still, neither of those options compare to the caliber of quarterback that Ben Roethlisberger is, and losing him would make it incredibly difficult for the Steelers to make a playoff run down the stretch.