Roethlisberger played Super Bowl with fractured ribs

NEW YORK (TICKER) —The Super Bowl game-winning drive orchestrated by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will go down as one of the best in history.

It’s even more impressive in the wake of learning that Roethlisberger played the game with at least two small rib fractures. reported that Roethlisberger’s injury was discovered following an MRI exam on the Thursday after Super Bowl XLIII.

“Luckily, in the game, I didn’t take any big hits to make ‘em hurt,” Roethlisberger told the web site. “But I knew all along there was something wrong. There wouldn’t have been anything they could have done about fractured ribs anyway. It was just suck it up and play.”

Roethlisberger drove the Steelers 78 yards for the winning touchdown, connecting with Santonio Holmes on a 6-yard scoring pass with 35 seconds left in the Steelers’ 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Prior to the Super Bowl, Roethlisberger underwent X-rays of the rib area, which were negative. He had absorbed a crunching hit to the back early in the AFC championship game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Roethlisberger completed 21-of-30 passes for 256 yards against Arizona to join New England’s Tom Brady as the only quarterbacks to win two Super Bowls by age 26.

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Updated Monday, Feb 9, 2009