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Tests negative, so Steelers QB could be released today

By TIMES WIRES
Published June 15, 2006


PITTSBURGH - Ben Roethlisberger's broken jaw did not have to be wired shut, a factor that could hasten his recovery from his scary motorcycle accident, and the Steelers quarterback got out of his hospital bed Wednesday to talk with teammates and family members.

Roethlisberger's doctors said a second round of tests showed no brain injuries, although he has a concussion. Initial CT scans taken shortly after Roethlisberger's motorcycle collided with a car at a busy Pittsburgh intersection Monday morning also showed no apparent problems.

"The results of this second and final scan confirm our previous findings that Mr. Roethlisberger has suffered no brain injury," said Dr. Larry Jones, the chief of Mercy Hospital's trauma unit.

Roethlisberger could be released as early as today.

Because Roethlisberger's multiple facial fractures, broken nose and broken upper and lower jaw are being held in place by screws and 2-inch titanium plates, he can eat soft foods - and not be restricted to liquids - during an estimated six- to eight-week recovery period.

As a result, the 240-pound Roethlisberger probably won't lose as much weight as he would have on an all-liquid diet. The Steelers have not given a timetable for his return, but they are optimistic he will be ready for their Sept. 7 opener against Miami.

BENGALS:

Wide receiver Chris Henry was charged with providing alcohol to three underage females, his fourth arrest in the last seven months. Henry, 23, could get up to a year in jail and a $500 fine on each of three count if convicted. Henry was charged June 4 with speeding and drunken driving. He also faces trial Aug. 21 in Orlando on a concealed weapon charge involving allegations that he pulled a pistol on a group of revelers in January.

TITANS:

Left tackle Brad Hopkins retired after 13 seasons, deciding to leave the game rather than play for a team other than the one that drafted him. Hopkins was released in March for salary cap reasons.

ARENA LEAGUE:

The Storm's Shane Stafford finished second among quarterbacks in the ArenaBattle skills competition last week in Las Vegas. Stafford was first through three rounds before losing to Austin's John Fitzgerald in the final. Dallas' Clint Dolezel and Los Angeles' Sonny Cumbie also competed in the event, which was part of the buildup to ArenaBowl XX.