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Notes: Sprained shoulder may sideline Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger left Heinz Field on Monday night with his sprained right shoulder in a sling. When he walks back in ready to play is anybody’s guess.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin called Pittsburgh’s franchise quarterback ‘‘questionable’’ but otherwise offered little detail Tuesday, less than 24 hours after Roethlisberger was pounded into the ground by Kansas City linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston in the third quarter of Pittsburgh’s 16-13 overtime victory.

‘‘He is being evaluated,’’ Tomlin said. ‘‘Obviously this injury puts his participation in the questionable category for this week.’’

Roethlisberger left the game and went to the hospital for an MRI. He underwent more tests Tuesday to determine the severity of the sprain to the sternoclavicular (SC) joint in his throwing shoulder.

The SC joint connects the collarbone to the sternum. Treatment can range from a few days of rest and ice to as much as 4-6 weeks, according to Dr. Victor Khabie, chief of sports medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y.

If Roethlisberger can’t play, the Steelers will turn to veteran backup Byron Leftwich.

Roethlisberger isn’t the only big name that could be out on Sunday. Safety Troy Polamalu continues to be plagued by a right calf injury and Tomlin described him ‘‘doubtful’’ to play against the Ravens. Safety Ryan Clark sustained a concussion for the second time in three games, though Tomlin said it appears Clark is fine.

QBs up in air

49ers quarterback Alex Smith plans to seek a second opinion for his concussion, according to ProFootballTalk.com. Smith suffered a concussion against St. Louis Sunday.The 49ers are off until they face the Bears Monday night. Before he can be cleared to play, he must be given an OK from an independent neurologist.

Chicago, meanwhile, signed quarterback Josh McCown with Jay Cutler’s status uncertain. Cutler sat out the second half of Sunday’s loss to Houston with a concussion. Jason Campbell took over and is expected to start Monday if Cutler can’t. McCown played for Chicago last season.

More turbulence

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The Jets waived pass rusher Aaron Maybin and placed cornerback Isaiah Trufant on the season-ending injured reserve with a knee injury. Maybin led New York with six sacks in 2011, but does not have one this season . . . Buccaneers linebacker Quincy Black will miss the remainder of the season after injuring his neck making a tackle . . . The Broncos waived safety Duke Ihenacho, opening a roster spot that could be filled by linebacker D.J. Williams. Williams was reinstated Monday after sitting out the first nine games while serving two separate NFL suspensions . . . Falcons coach Mike Smith said he won't address accusations that players Sean Weatherspoon and Jonathan Babineaux intentionally interfered with the Saints' pregame warm-up routine Sunday. Saints linebackers Scott Shanle and Jonathan Vilma told ESPN that the Falcons walked through their drill and talked trash.

Questionable call

Buffalo receiver Stevie Johnson questioned why an experienced player wasn’t targeted on their final play in a loss at New England Sunday. He said rookie receiver T.J. Graham shouldn’t be faulted for running the wrong route that led to Ryan Fitzpatrick having his pass intercepted by Devin McCourty in the end zone with 23 seconds left. Johnson said Graham ran a play he had never attempted in practice . . . A grand jury in Houston dismissed a misdemeanor resisting arrest charge against Vikings running back Adrian Peterson after hearing from the four-time Pro Bowler and other witnesses . . . Former Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens was arrested on suspicion of assaulting US women’s soccer team goalkeeper Hope Solo a day before their planned wedding day. , according to police and court records. A Kirkland (Wash.) Municipal Court judge released Stevens after a court appearance, saying there was no evidence connecting Stevens to any assault. He was arrested early Monday for fourth-degree domestic violence assault but wasn’t charged. Stevens and Solo have been in a relationship for two months, were set to get married Tuesday and argued over whether to live in Washington or Florida after their marriage.

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