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Ben Roethlesberger is walking around with a large bandage on his broken nose and a protective boot on his painfully injured right foot which sportsbook announces. And, at least for a moment, a smile brought on by another well-known Pittsburgh sports figure. The Steelers quarterback will wear a protective shield to protect a nose that so splintered while being smacked by the Baltimore Ravens, Haloti Ngata, X-rays revealed nose bones that looked like corn flakes, according to Roethlisberger.

Regardless, Roethlisberger practiced Wednesday as usual, and he plans to play in Sunday's AFC North game against the Cincinnati Bengals (2-10). Despite having his nose bent awkwardly during Pittsburgh's initial series, he didn't miss a play as the Steelers (9-3) beat the Ravens 13-9 on Sunday to take sole possession of the division lead with four games remaining.

The quarterback has been told he can do no further damage to his nose by playing. His nose also was broken and needed surgical reconstruction following his 2006 motorcycle accident. But this injury wasn't complicated by that rebuilding.  Playing with a shield for the first time will take some adjustment, just as it does hockey players who choose to wear one after playing without it.

Ngata wasn't penalized for raking his hand across Roethlisberger's face, but he was fined $15,000 one day later for striking a defenseless player in the head.

Roethlisberger had no comment about the fine, but teammate Hines Ward said he was glad someone other than Steelers linebacker James Harrison was punished for hitting a quarterback.  Roethlisberger said he asked referee Terry McAuley why there was no penalty and was told, "He was just trying to tackle you."  Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain also was fined $40,000 for a helmet hit that caused Steelers tight end Heath Miller’s concussion. That hit also wasn't penalized.

While Steelers coach Mike Tomlin lists Miller's status as doubtful, the tight end isn't giving up hope that he might play Sunday. Miller must pass neurological tests that are given daily to players with a concussion before he is cleared to play.  Steelers right tackle Flozell Adams (high ankle sprain) also hasn't ruled out playing on an offensive line that is so beaten up, the Steelers were missing three tackles and two tight ends in Baltimore.

 

 

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