Ben Roethlisberger missed most of the second half of Monday night's 16-13 overtime win with what has been confirmed to be a right shoulder sprain. His status for Sunday's game vs. the Ravens is questionable. (US Presswire)

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin asked the media throng in attendance Tuesday for his weekly press conference if they were there to see how he was doing.

After some laughter and opening the press conference with a brief review of Monday night's win against Kansas City, Tomlin got down to the business concerning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's injured right (throwing) shoulder.

"[Roethlisberger] has a shoulder sprain [that] can be classified as an SC sprain,'' Tomlin said. "That's all the information that I have for you at this time. He's being evaluated. Obviously, this injury puts his participation in the questionable category this week.''

An SC joint sprain, basically, is a tear in the joint that connects the sternum to the clavicle. It controls the movement in that area, so range of motion will be an issue for Roethlisberger. Surgery generally isn't needed for this injury, which would be treated with rest and pain meds. Even a less serious form of an SC joint sprain could take at least three weeks to heal.

That means Roethlisberger most assuredly will miss the game against the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens (7-2) Sunday evening at Heinz Field, which means that veteran Byron Leftwich should get the majority of the first-team snaps in practice Wednesday through Friday, with Charlie Batch as the backup. A third quarterback could be added later in the week.

"I haven't had any first-team reps since we left Latrobe (training camp)," Leftwich said after leading the Steelers (6-3) to a win against the Chiefs. "(So), it was good to get out there. That's what I told some of these guys. We need to get some work together. ... So, it was good to get some work in."

Even if Roethlisberger cannot practice this week, Tomlin said Tuesday that he would not be opposed to playing him against the Ravens, noting that: "I have before. (But) If called upon, (Leftwich and Batch) are proven veteran players.

"They're capable of performing in whatever offense or personality we choose. More than anything, if either are to play, obviously, this week's preparation will be big and having an opportunity to take snaps and prepare will be big."

Playing without Roethlisberger is enough for Steelers fans to be concerned about this week, but there likely will be more starters on the sideline. Wideout Antonio Brown is still rehabbing his ankle sprain, while running back Rashard Mendenhall is still working back from an Achilles injury. Tomlin classified both as questionable this week, but Brown is less likely to play.

Strong safety Troy Polamalu's strained right calf has sidelined him for five straight games, and since Tomlin already said he is doubtful, a sixth straight absence is highly likely. Offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert practiced on a limited basis last week due to an ankle tendon injury, but he's still questionable and unlikely to play. The same could be said for linebacker Stevenson Sylvester, who has been battling a hamstring injury.

Free safety Ryan Clark suffered his second concussion in two weeks (three games), and he will have tests to determine his availability. Tomlin said he saw Clark, and he appeared to be fine. Clark tweeted that he was fine, but it's hard to believe that he could be cleared to play with the NFL's increased interest in player safety and focus on head injuries.

"Ryan Clark will be evaluated in terms of his participation," Tomlin said. "We will see where the evaluation process takes us during the course of the week. Rashard Mendenhall, coming back from his Achilles injury, is starting to work and work significantly for us. I can classify him as questionable as we sit here today."

The Steelers face the Ravens Sunday night and Dec. 2 at Baltimore. They also visit Cleveland Nov. 25, so these three AFC North games are crucial to the club's post-season aspirations.

Follow Steelers reporter Chuck Finder on Twitter @CBSSteelers and @cfinder.

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