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NFL Roundup: Roethlisberger ruled out Sunday, teammates diss Tebow

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The Steelers confirmed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is out for Sunday's game, but according to reports, his return could be weeks away.

In addition to a shoulder injury, Roethlisberger has a rare rib dislocation in which pressure against his aorta could cause severe to serious complications. Roethlisberger said there is no timetable for his return because of the nature of his injury, but he doesn't think it's season-ending.

"I can move (the arm) around, that's not the issue," Roethlisberger said. "Sometimes when I do move it the rib will kind of pop out of place again, which is pretty painful. I just try to keep it as still as I can for the most part."

Roethlisberger was at the Steelers' practice facility Wednesday with his arm in a sling. His initial diagnosis by Steelers doctors after two MRI exams was a sprained SC joint with pain and swelling at the front of his right shoulder. However, his shoulder is not the greatest concern.

Roethlisberger was also told his dislocated rib is pressing into his aorta, which he believed came as a result of the awkward landing on a sack in the third quarter Monday. He was hit initially by outside linebacker Justin Houston of the Chiefs and then sandwiched by Tamba Hali, who was rushing from Roethlisberger's left.

Roethlisberger said he's experiencing a great deal of pain -- "nine on a scale of 1 to 10" -- and has had trouble sleeping.

"From what (the doctor) said, he's trying to talk to experts because there is no case study over the exact same thing," Roethlisberger said. "From what I heard, from what he told me, it was a 1998 rugby player or something."

---Tim Tebow's teammates don't think he's the answer to the Jets' struggles.

Players offered a blunt assessment of Tebow's abilities as a quarterback during an informal survey conducted by the New York Daily News. Most believe he's little more than a sideshow.

"He's terrible," the Daily News quoted a defensive starter as saying.

Coach Res Ryan said Wednesday that he talked to the team about the issue.

"If you're going to make a negative (comment), that's fine, but put your name to it," he said.

Left guard Matt Slauson isn't a fan of Tebow's. He backs current starter Mark Sanchez, though Sanchez has completed an NFL-worst 52 percent of his passes and a league-high four interceptions in the red zone.

"It's not even close," Slauson said in describing who's the best quarterback for the 3-6 Jets. "All the other quarterbacks know it. I have all the confidence in Mark. We don't really have a choice."

As far as the other QBs on the roster, Slauson said, "We have Greg ... and we have an athlete."

Tebow, who was acquired by the Jets in the offseason from the Denver Broncis, is seen more as a role player.

"We don't look at him as a quarterback," another starter said. "He's the Wildcat guy."

And the Jets don't believe the the offense will improve with Tebow running more Wildcat. However, they do think Tebow can be effective as a runner.

"You got to keep defenses honest," one starter said. "You just can't line up in the Wildcat all the time. That won't work."

Another player was direct with the Daily News, saying, "We can't win running that ----" that worked last year when Tebow helped lead the Broncos to the playoffs.

Still, there's concern about the offense. Some pointed to the receivers as the problem.

"I've seen better receiving corps in college than we have on our team," one Jets source told the Daily News.

Ryan has continued to back Sanchez as the starter after Sunday's 28-7 loss to Seattle in which the Jets were held to 185 total yards.

"This team is coming together," Ryan said. "This team is not going to be pulled apart by outside people."

Asked of anyone supports Tebow becoming the starter, a teammate said, "Nobody."

Ryan reiterated that it wasn't the team's intention to bring Tebow to New York to be the starting quarterback.

"I thought I was clear on that," he said. "I'm not hiding anything."

---The Kansas City Chiefs' dancing and celebrating during their 16-13 overtime loss Monday night in Pittsburgh didn't sit well with coach Romeo Crennel.

"It was a surprise to me to see some of those celebrations, per se," Crennel said in a story in The Kansas City Star. "The rules are explicit about no celebrating, particularly group celebrations. You cannot have those. Our guys, they know the rules and they should not have done it. I will talk to my players about that, and I don't expect it to happen again."

The Chiefs haven't had much to celebrate during a 1-8 season.

One 15-yard penalty Monday night resulted from violating the NFL's rule on group celebrations. The Chiefs thought they had returned a fumble by Pittsburgh quarterback Byron Leftwich for a touchdown in the third quarter, but the play was ruled an incomplete pass and the penalty gave the Steelers a first down.

Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe avoided a taunting penalty when a holding call nullified his apparent touchdown.

"We had some penalties that were really uncharacteristic of the guys on this team," Crennel said. "They were celebrating and dancing and those kinds of things. With the record we have, we really can't afford to be dancing or anything like that. Our focus should be on trying to play good football and trying to do everything to help the team win and not do things that cost the team field position and give a good opponent some momentum and those kinds of things."

--Matt Cassel will start again at quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday against Cincinnati.

Coach Romel Crennel said Wednesday that quarterback Brady Quinn (concussion) has yet to be cleared by doctors to return. Quinn had told reporters earlier that he had the go-ahead to come back after sitting out the past two games.

"He's feeling a lot better, doing a lot better," Crennel said of Quinn. "If he makes it through the week without incident, then he can be cleared for the weekend."

If Quinn, who had started a game for the first time since 2009 before he suffered the head injury in game against Oakland last month, receives clearance later this week, Crennel said Quinn and Ricky Stanzi will vie for the backup role.

The Chiefs are 1-8.

---Michael Vick's headache pain has subsided as the result of a concussion and Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid isn't yet declaring the quarterback out of Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins.

Vick did not attend Wednesday's practice, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. In his place, rookie Nick Foles worked with the first-team offense. Reid said Foles would "handle it like he's going" to start.

Reid called Vick's concussion "significant" after Sunday's game but doesn't think it will be a season-long problem.

Wide Receiver Jeremy Maclin told The Inquirer that Vick seemed fine when he spoke with him Tuesday. Maclin (lower back) also said he expects to play this week.

Receiver Jason Avant (hamstring and running back Chris Polk (toe) are out Sunday.

---The Oakland Raiders signed Omar Gaither on Wednesday to add depth to their linebacker corps.

In six seasons with Philadelphia and Carolina, Gaither played in 77 games and made 40 starts. He started four games for the Panthers last year and was in training camp this year with Houston.

A fifth-round draft pick in 2006, Gaither has 393 career tackles and two interceptions.

The Raiders made room for Gaither on the roster by placing linebacker Travis Goethel (knee) on injured reserve.

---Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews will miss Sunday's game against Detroit because of a hamstring injury, coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday.

Matthews was hurt two weeks ago in a game against the Arizona Cardinals and the hamstring hasn't healed sufficiently for him to play this week, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported.

Matthews, who has experienced hamstring problems in the past, ranks No. 4 in the NFL with nine sacks this season.

The Packers have been hit hard by injuries at linebacker this year, previously losing Nick Perry and Desmond Bishop.

---Houston Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins will be fined a $30,000 fine for his hit on Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler on Sunday night, ESPN reported.

Cutler suffered a concussion after the helmet-to-helmet hit and didn't return after halftime. Dobbins was penalized for unnecessary roughness.

On the play, Cutler was scrambling and was called for an illegal forward pass when he let the ball go past the line of scrimmage and then took the hit.

Dobbins didn't agree with the call.

"I did not hit him in his head, and actually he ran into me," Dobbins said in a report from "I just felt like he was going to take off and run with the ball and I thought he was past the line.

"But it was good that he was out, though. I mean you always want to take the quarterback out of the game. I hit him in his chest. I did not hit him in his head. Nowhere near it. I did not touch his helmet."

Cutler said Wednesday that he's feeling better, but there's no indication whether he might be cleared by doctors to play in Monday night's game.

---Running back Darren Sproles returned to practice Wednesday with the New Orleans Saints just two weeks since he underwent surgery for a broken hand.

Interim coach Joe Vitt said Sproles was not limited by the hand in the non-contact workout and looked fine running and catching passes, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

The Saints (4-5) play the Raiders (3-6) in Oakland on Sunday, but it's uncertain whether Sproles will be available.

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