As many expected, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (Shoulder) was declared out today and will not play against the Baltimore Ravens in this key AFC North battle. With this announcement official, Charlie Batch will get a chance at redemption for the Steelers, after is subpar performance against the Cleveland Browns.Antonio Brown should return to the offense and provide an added short-range target for Batch, who struggled to push the ball down field.
Of course, the team could use a healthy offensive line to protect Batch and possibly open running lanes for new starter running back Jonathan Dwyer, but at this point, the make-up of the line is still somewhat of an unknown. Willie Colon (Knee) is questionable on the Friday injury report and will likely be a game-time decision. If he cannot go, center Maurkice Pouncey will make his first NFL start at left guard, and after struggling at guard last week against the Browns, Doug Legursky will move into the center position. Guard is not the only place where there are question marks, with right tackle Mike Adams out (Ankle), rookie Kelvin Beachum will make his first NFL start at tackle.
On defense, Pro Bowl linebacker LaMarr Woodley (Ankle) will join Roethlisberger on the sideline, meaning, as we discussed yesterday, Jason Worilds will have a chance to make an impact in a key divisional game. His play at linebacker could be aided by the return of Troy Polamalu, who looks to at least play in some special packages against the Ravens after completing a full week of practice.
Joining Roethlisberger, Adams, and Woodley on the sideline Sunday will be quarterback Byron Leftwich (Ribs) who enters the weekend prepared for the inactive list.
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