Ben Roethlisberger’s sprained right shoulder is just the start of his problems.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback said Wednesday that he also dislocated a rib while getting sacked in the third quarter of Monday night’s win against Kansas City. Roethlisberger sprained the SC joint in his shoulder on the play but said the rib issue is a bigger concern.

Roethlisberger said doctors are concerned the rib could cut into his aorta. He has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens; backup Byron Leftwich will start in his place, but Roethlisberger doesn’t believe the injuries will end his season.

“I don’t think so ... but I’m not a medical expert,” he said. “I just know I’m going to do what I can to get back.”

Doctors are worried if the rib gets jostled before it heals it can cause internal bleeding. The quarterback said the pain level is “nine on a scale of 1-10.”


RYAN BLASTS PLAYERS FOR TEBOW COMMENTS: Rex Ryan doesn’t mind his players saying what’s on their minds. As long as they put their names to it.

The Jets coach angrily addressed his team for anonymous quotes by players and members of the organization ripping backup quarterback Tim Tebow in the Daily News.

“If you’re not going to put your name to it, I think that’s about as cowardly of a thing there is,” Ryan said.

The Daily News report said more than a dozen players and members of the organization believe there’s no chance Tebow could overtake Mark Sanchez for the starting quarterback job — with one saying of the backup: “He’s terrible.”

“We never say that it always has to be a bed of roses,” said Ryan, who encourages his players and coaches to “be yourself” in interviews. “But again, put your name to it.”


CUTLER’S STATUS STILL UNKNOWN: Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler’s status remains in question because of a concussion.

Coach Lovie Smith said Cutler is “feeling a whole lot better” after sitting out the second half of Sunday’s loss to Houston. Whether he’ll play against San Francisco on Monday is another issue.

If Cutler is not ready to play, the Bears will turn to Jason Campbell.

The Bears said Cutler was injured on a helmet-to-helmet hit by Tim Dobbins late in the first half. Dobbins was fined $30,000 for the hit.


QB SMITH RETURNS: San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith went through position work in a non-contact black jersey, but his status is unclear for Monday night’s showdown with Chicago after he suffered a concussion Sunday against St. Louis.

Coach Jim Harbaugh kept an eye on Smith as he worked with backup Colin Kaepernick and No. 3 QB Scott Tolzien to get his reps.


VICK MISSES PRACTICE: Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick did not practice but has not been ruled out of Sunday’s game vs. Washington.

Vick suffered a concussion in Sunday’s 38-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Rookie backup Nick Foles took the first-team snaps at practice and would make his first career start if Vick can’t play.


CASSEL TO START: Matt Cassel will start at quarterback for Kansas City on Sunday against Cincinnati because Brady Quinn has not been cleared to play following a concussion. Coach Romeo Crennel said Quinn could be cleared by the end of the week.


MATTHEWS OUT: Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews will miss Sunday’s game in Detroit with a hamstring injury.

Coach Mike McCarthy said the absence was expected. Matthews was hurt in the second half of Green Bay’s Nov. 4 game against Arizona, and McCarthy said the next day that the three-time Pro Bowler would miss a couple of weeks.