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Steelers had been successful keeping quarterbacks healthy

| Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 8:52 p.m.
Steelers Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley looks on during practice on the South Side Nov. 14, 2012. Chaz Palla | Tribune Review

Get rid of the ball, don't take the sack. Get rid of the ball, don't take the sack.

“We don't want hits on our quarterbacks,” offensive coordinator Todd Haley said. “We don't want sacks.”

One of Haley's goals was to reduce the number of times Ben Roethlisberger picked himself off the turf, and he was successful — until Monday night.

Roethlisberger, sandwiched by two Chiefs linebackers, slammed elbow-first into the turf and injured his upper chest and a rib. The prognosis for his return is uncertain.

“The one (hit) that Ben took, unfortunately, was one of the few times this year,” Haley said Thursday. “He started backwards, got in trouble as opposed to just running or throwing it away, and it caused an issue. … The quarterbacks did a great job of getting rid of the football — all but one play.”

New-look defense

This isn't the Baltimore defense the Steelers are accustomed to seeing, not with Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb out and the Ravens ranked an uncommonly low 27th overall. But they are forcing turnovers: They own a plus-9 advantage in takeaways; the Steelers are merely even. With a replacement quarterback in Byron Leftwich and possibly a rusty Rashard Mendenhall getting carries, the Steelers must guard against turnovers, especially in a series in which low-scoring games are common.

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