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Roethlisberger's nose not broken again

A shot to the face Thursday night left Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger bloody but apparently not with another broken nose.

Roethlisberger said his own helmet banged into the bridge of his nose during the Steelers' 27-3 pasting for the Carolina Panthers. But, he said, it is not a cause for concern, especially since the Steelers don't play again until Jan. 2.

“The doctor was here that did my surgery (after he broke his nose earlier this month), looked at it and said there wasn't a need for an X-ray right now so we'll let it go,” Roethlisbeger said.

Coach Mike Tomlin said Roethlisberger did not re-break his nose after the Steelers improved to 11-4.

The victory put the Steelers in a position to win the AFC North before their final regular-season game.

The Steelers win their third division title in four years under Tomlin and clinch the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs if the Ravens lose to the Browns Sunday.

If that happens, Tomlin will have to decide how much to play his starters in a regular-season finale that would essentially be meaningless for the Steelers.

When faced with the same decision two years ago he played his starters, including Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger didn't finish the game after sustaining a spinal concussion but his injury didn't do much more than throw a scare into Steelers fans, and he was fine for the playoffs.

When asked if he wants to play against the Browns even if the Steelers don't need to win the game, Roethlisberger said, “I'm fine with it either way. If (Tomlin) wants me to be in there I'm good with that. If he wants me to back off and rest, I'm fine with that as well.”

The Steelers came out of the Panthers in relatively good shape from an injury standpoint.

Outside linebacker Jason Worilds and running back Mewelde Moore each left the game with knee injuries.

Those, Tomlin said, were the only significant injuries of note after the Steelers won their final regular-season game at Heinz Field.

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