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Pittsburgh Steelers Sign Plaxico Burress; Announce Charlie Batch as Starter Against Cleveland Browns

November 20th, 2012 at 10:38 PM
By Mark Mihalko

It is crazy, looking at what a difference three weeks can make in the NFL. Not long ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers were riding high, looking like a team poised to make another run at a Super Bowl, today, they look more like a MASH unit fighting for survival.

'PIT @ CLE' photo (c) 2009, Zolotkey - license:
The Steelers are a banged up unit, and it seems like the injuries just continue to mount. Sure, their games against the Baltimore Ravens, are always physical, but this Sunday night game will leave a lasting impression. The biggest loss from the game may be back-up quarterback Byron Leftwich, who was already forced into action when the Kansas City Chiefs knocked Ben Roethlisberger out one week ago. While Roethlisberger is making progress, there is no discernable timetable for his return.

Leftwich, who suffered rib and shoulder injuries against the Ravens, will not be available for their next divisional match-up Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, forcing venerable back-up Charlie Batch into the starting line-up. While the 37-year-old quarterback should be able to manage the offense, the injury left the Steelers with a void at the position behind him.  With that in mind, the team made a roster move at the quarterback position today by signing veteran Brian Hoyer (New England Patriots), after he and Mike Kafka (Philadelphia Eagles) worked out today.

That was not the only injury related move that was made today, as the team also needed to boost depth at the wide receiver position with the news that Jerricho Cotchery fractured multiple ribs against the Ravens. Like Leftwich, Cotchery was forced into a larger role after wide receiver Antonio Brown injured his ankle against the New York Giants.

To fill that void, the team worked out two players who have spent some time with the Steelers, veteran and training camp attendee Derrick Williams and former number one pick Plaxico Burress. After their workout, the Steelers decided to reunite with Burress, the polarizing wide receiver who recently spent two years in prison prior to playing with the New York Jets in 2011.

While these two injuries forced the team to make roster moves, there are also some new injuries that will be monitored as the week progresses. Starting defensive end Ziggy Hood enters the week questionable with a back injury and running back Isaac Redman is questionable with a concussion. Joining them as questionable at this point of the week will be Brown, offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert (Foot) and safety Troy Polamalu (Calf).

To make room for these two signees, the team had to make some compounding roster moves and did it by releasing running back Baron Batch and recently promoted linebacker Marshall McFadden.


Tags: Antonio Brown, Baron Batch, Ben Roethlisberger, Brian Hoyer, Byron Leftwich, Charlie Batch, Cleveland Browns, Football, Jerricho Cotchery, Marshall McFadden, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, Plaxico Burress, Troy Polamalu

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