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Ben Roethlisberger misses second straight practice with shoulder injury he’s had since September

Injury report shenanigans are nothing new in the NFL.

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up before a game against the Chicago Bears at Heinz Field on November 08, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Thursday update: Roethlisberger was a DNP on Thursday, per Missi Matthews. He’s likely to play on Sunday, but this second straight absence is notable.

Wednesday PM update: Roethlisberger was a DNP on Wednesday due to his pectoral and shoulder injuries. There is no expectation that he will sit out this week, and this is likely just some maintenance rest.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has looked like he’s never the end of the road for much of this season. There are plenty of jokes about his ability to throw the ball deep, but injuries have also been part of the issue. He has been listed with pectoral issues since they started Week 3 preparations, but this past week they added his right, throwing shoulder to the injury list.

On Wednesday as the team returned to practice for Week 10, Roethlisberger told the media he injured the shoulder in September but it was not listed in part because “We don’t tell you guys everything.”

NFL teams have long tried to keep injuries as much under wraps as possible — with many coaches treating injury news like the nuclear codes. Teams are required to submit a weekly injury report, but teams will go to extremes of either listing nobody or listing a large number of players to keep opponents guessing.

The pectoral is in the chest, so the Steelers can probably avoid NFL punishment by just claiming it was all related and that should have been sufficient. But given the addition of “shoulder” to the injury report on Friday, one has to wonder what gives with this. Pro Football Talk noted that the Steelers were one of the few teams that have actually been disciplined for injury report shenanigans. In 2019, Roethlisberger was not listed as having an elbow injury in Week 2. The team was fined $75,000 and head coach Mike Tomlin was fined $25,000.