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Denver corner says Big Ben was faking

GERRY DULAC
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (TNS)

For the second week in a row, an opposing player has accused one of the Steelers’ top offensive stars of faking an injury — and this time the target is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib, above, doesn't believe there was anything wrong with Ben Roethlisberger's shoulder on Sunday.

Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib accused Roethlisberger of faking his right shoulder injury after the Broncos watched him throw for 339 yards and nearly pull off an upset victory Sunday night in Denver.

That comment quietly upset the Steelers because of what Roethlisberger had to do to get ready for the Broncos and the discomfort he felt before and after the game.

Roethlisberger took a pain-killing ejection before pregame warm-ups, enabling him to throw as he did against the Broncos. But he winced when he tried to put his right arm through his shirt sleeve in the locker room after the game and couldn’t even lift his arm today at the Steelers practice facility, according to several team sources.

Roethlisberger did not throw or practice last week until Friday, and only then because he took a pain-killing injection before practice to see how it would help his throwing arm.

That, though, did not stop Talib from saying Roethlisberger was faking the right shoulder injury he sustained when he was sacked by linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the wild-card victory against the Cincinnati Bengals.

“Ben was healthy as hell. He didn’t fool anybody,” Talib said after the game, according to NFL.com.

It was the second week in a row an opposing player wrongly accused a Steelers player of faking an injury. Bengals cornerback Adam Jones said wide receiver Antonio Brown was not hurt when he received a concussion after a hit by Burfict and predicted he would play against the Broncos.

Brown did not make the trip to Denver because he was never cleared to be removed from concussion protocol.