Last night, the Steelers hosted the Eagles in the first preseason game for both teams, and it only took 19 minutes before Pittsburgh lost a quarterback to injury. This time, though, it didn’t involve Ben Roethlisberger, motorcycles or Chrysler New Yorkers.
Instead, backup Charlie Batch, scrambling after a busted play in the backfield, suffered a broken collarbone. Batch, who has started four games the last three seasons, could be out two months. This leaves the Steelers with rookies Dennis Dixon and Mike Potts behind Big Ben on the depth chart. That could change as soon as today, however.
According to the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, the team will workout — and possibly sign — Byron Leftwich this afternoon. Leftwich has been out of football since the Falcons released him earlier this offseason. Last September, he was cut by the Jaguars, the team that originally drafted him in 2003.
Interestingly, Leftwich was considered one of the best young quarterback in the league just a few years ago. In fact, Baltimore wanted to select him with the 10th-overall pick, but Jacksonville grabbed the Marshall quarterback at No. 7. The Ravens settled on Kyle Boller, whose professional career can kindly be described as inconsistent.
Somehow, Boller has not only managed to keep his job, but he’s vying for the starting gig in Baltimore. Meanwhile, Leftwich suffered the indignity of being released by one of the worst teams in the league (Atlanta), and assuming Pittsburgh signs him today, he could again be looking for work as soon as Batch is healthy.
On the upside, he doesn’t have to tell people he plays for the Falcons, which is slightly more embarrassing than being unemployed.