Steelers bring back Burress
The struggling Pittsburgh Steelers are having to start their third-string quarterback on Sunday, while they are also bringing back veteran wide receiver Plaxico Burress as injuries take hold.
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37-year-old quarterback Charlie Batch will start for the Steelers on Sunday against Cleveland after Byron Leftwich suffered a rib injury during a bruising defeat to Baltimore at the weekend.
Leftwich was standing in for regular starter Ben Roethlisberger who is out indefinitely, with a rib injury and shoulder problem, leaving Pittsburgh woefully short of cover.
After falling two games behind Baltimore with the loss when dropping to 6-4, Pittsburgh also have just two receivers fit to play with Jerricho Cotchery being knocked out of the Baltimore loss and Antonio Brown out with an ankle injury.
Coach Mike Tomlin has been looking at quarterbacks Mike Kafka and Brian Hoyer, along with receivers Burress and Derrick Williams, with former Steeler Burress set to join the team who drafted him in the first round of the 2000 draft.
"We're looking at these guys with the potential to sign one at each position," said Tomlin. "We are looking to add two. The men that we acquire will fortify our depth."
Burress, who spent four years in Pittsburgh, won the Super Bowl whilst with the New York Giants but then spent two years in jail after shooting himself in the leg at a nightclub.
He returned to the NFL with the New York Jets and caught eight touchdowns last season whilst being used largely as a red zone threat, but he has not played at all this campaign.
Batch has a decent 5-2 record when stepping in for Roethlisberger during his career, and he is happy he has the entire week to prepare for a rare start.
"Having a week to prepare is a lot different versus coming in during a game," said Batch.
"As you go through a week to prepare you have the chance to talk about what you like, what you don't like in the game plan and let it unfold during the course of the week."