Ugh. Just so many ughs.

That’s the report from The Mort, as during the usual frenzy of injury activity prior to the early games, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen dropped a truth bomb: the Steelers are “hopeful, though hardly optimistic” that their starting quarterback will miss only three weeks and a total of two games due to his rib and shoulder injuries.

Give it to us straight, Mort:

Roethlisberger was in as much pain Friday as he was Monday, a source said, and the timetable for his return is somewhat unpredictable. The injury is rare and needs to heal itself — there’s no treatment or procedure that can fix it quicker.

Basically, both Mortensen’s sources and the Steelers’ doctors are saying there’s a chance for a Week 13 return, but they’re making that statement very, very cautiously. Given this latest gut punch to Roethlisberger’s season and his remaining fantasy value in 2012, teams jostling for playoff position can now feel free to explore a trade if your deadline hasn’t passed yet.

Clearly the return on an injured quarterback will be minimal, but Roethlisberger still has value to the teams in your league that are securely in a playoff position. Get what you can, because right now if you’re clawing for every point Roethlisberger is doing little more than wasting a roster spot, and by the time he returns your fantasy season may be over anyway.

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