Is Big Ben Hiding an Injury?

There hasn't been any really exciting news coming out of Tampa this week. Profiles and anecdotes about the key players, a few interesting but most bland, have been the order of the day. No one has made any waves by guaranteeing a victory or talking trash about the opposition, which is making the wait for kickoff seem even longer than it actually is.

Finally, we've gotten something with a little bit of bite to it.'s Mike Florio reported Thursday morning that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger needed to have an X-ray on his ribs on Wednesday. He didn't appear on the Steelers injury report for that day's practice, which makes it seem like the Steelers went out of their way to avoid making Big Ben's issue a matter for the public record.

Roethlisberger was asked about the injury by Rotoworld's Gregg Rosenthal at a press conference on Thursday. Roethlisberger twice refused to comment on reports that he had an X-ray and said that he was feeling fine.

He did appear on an injury report with a back injury last week while the team was still in Pittsburgh, so there's something going on inside the Steelers signal caller. Will it have any impact on the game?

If you've got the answer to that question, head to Vegas immediately and finance a new house with your winnings at the sports book. It's going to take an awful lot to keep Roethlisberger out of the lineup, as evidenced by his quick turnaround from his Week 17 concussion, and it's not like the Cardinals weren't going to try and pressure him before word of this X-ray came to light. If an injury is affecting Roethlisberger, we probably won't know until the game gets underway.

 It's the first new storyline to bubble up in quite a while, though, so expect to hear a lot about it between now and then.

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