Monday, November 19, 2012

Steelers' Lose Another Quarterback; Is Plax Back?


...and then there was one.

The hits just keep on coming for the NFL team that could fill an episode of The Walking Dead with players from its roster.

CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora reported Monday that the Pittsburgh Steelers are concerned that Byron Leftwich may be "out for a while" because of rib and shoulder injuries he suffered in Sunday night's 13-10 loss to Baltimore Ravens.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that second-string quarterback Byron Leftwich sustained fractured ribs.

That means that Uncle Charlie Batch will get up off of his rocking chair, make sure his Medicare coverage is up-to-date and start at quarterback Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. - http://sulia.com/channel/pittsburgh-steelers/f/1511a2e8-edad-4d02-b223-e12d06ff362d/?source=twitter

However, as Steelers beat writer Mark Kaboly said: "I guarantee that no team in the NFL has a quality third-string backup like the Steelers do with Charlie Batch." Can he right the ship? - http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8653390&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

The Steelers are expected to work out quarterbacks this week, according to La Canfora, as Uncle Charlie is the only quarterback left currently on the roster. - http://tinyurl.com/dxmdmjk

Names thrown around have been Brian Hoyer, Tyler Palko, Jerrod Johnson, Mike Kafka and, by LaMarr Woodley only, Donovan McNabb. - http://tinyurl.com/d6tpadd

Leftwich was hurt on the first series of the game Sunday night when he scored the touchdown on a 31-yard run, and he could be headed to the injured reserve list (IR) if it is deemed a 3-4 week injury as has been suggested.

If that happens, it will have been the third time in five years that his season would be ended by injury and it's time to seriously start questioning his actual value. Yes, he's a good veteran backup, but he's made of more glass than Brock Lesnar's chin.

A roll into the end zone resulted in adversely affected play. He was obviously hurt, but wasn't pulled because of what Tomlin called a "gritty" (not "great", as some have transcribed) effort. In that gritty effort, according to ESPN Stats & Information, however, Leftwich completed just 5 of 16 passes that were thrown longer than 10 yards downfield. Four incompletions of which were underthrown and three were overthrown.

His ineffectiveness was a major component in the Steelers loss. Now, not only do the Steelers have to look for a backup, and possibly third-strong, quarterback, but for a wide receiver as well.

It sounds like Jerricho Cotchery is likely to miss some time, because ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Monday that the Steelers will take a shot in the dark (pun intended) at former Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress. Plax is being brought in for a physical and, if he passes, is expected to sign.

Per Schefter: "Feeling always has been that the Steelers wouldn't bring WR Plaxico Burress to Pittsburgh if the team didn't intend to sign him." Is it the right move? - http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/59449/steelers-make-right-move-to-bring-in-burress

Steelers need roster spots, so expect a busy transaction list on Tuesday. There will be more athletes going in and out the Steelers doors than at a Kardashian's house.

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TIDBITS: ESPN reported Sunday morning that Steelers doctors believe starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will miss three weeks with his ribs and shoulder injuries, although the team hasn't given up hope that he could sit out just two games.

The team, though, still holds out hope that he could sit for just two games. If so, Big Ben could suit up against the Baltimore Ravens when the teams meet again in Week 13.

Dr. Clark Fuller, the director of Thoracic Surgery at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, told Sports Illustrated's Peter King that a premature return would put Big Ben at risk of nerve damage along with previously reported threats to the aorta. - http://tinyurl.com/dyzpy5e

If that is the case and Big Ben risks nerve damage, why is he even on the field and not in bed, or at least out of harm's way, in the first place? Ask Sean Payton what can happen on an NFL sideline. As my partner-in-crime would say, I'm just sayin...

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Quick bios on the leading candidates: Brian Hoyer in three years with the New England Patriots was 27 of 43 for 286 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Mike Kafka spent his two seasons in the league with the Philadelphia Eagles, but only saw playing time last season and completed 11 of 16 passes for 107 yards with two interceptions. - http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/11/20/report-steelers-to-workout-brian-hoyer-mike-kafka/