It what could end up being a fascinating scenario, veteran quarterback Charlie Batch is expected to be the Steelers starting quarterback next Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, “word now is the Steelers are leaning toward Batch to start and they will bring in Dixon as they had planned to do had Leftwich started — using him in various spots at quarterback.”
The injury to Byron Leftwich was suppose to mean Dennis Dixon would get to run the show in Ben Roethlisberger’s absence but the Steelers don’t trust Dixon throughout an entire game.
Now the Steelers are turning to Batch who was on the verge of being cut and will get his $855,000 salary guaranteed.
The Steelers officially released 10 players on Friday but 8-to-9 other players have also been informed that they have been let go.
At the running back position, Inside Pittsburgh Sports learned just after 5:00 p.m. on Friday that the Steelers released 2009 5th round pick Frank Summers. Summers will be signed to the practice squad if another team doesn’t pick him up.
With tight end David Johnson being the primary blocking back, Summers lost his spot on the roster due to the late emergence of rookie Jonathan Dwyer.
Barring an outside roster move, the Steelers will open the season with four running backs.
A second 2009 draft pick has been let go and it’s believed a third 09 draft pick has also been let go.
The team informed 3rd round pick Kraig Urbik on Friday that he has been released. Urbik’s agent Peter Schaeffer did not confirm if Urbik will be signed to the practice squad. Urbik was the Steelers second overall pick in the 2009 draft.
The Steelers offensive line will consist of Max Starks, Chris Kemoeatu, Maurkice Pouncey, Trai Essex, Flozell Adams, Ramon Foster, Jonathan Scott, Tony Hills and Doug Legursky.
The third 09 draft pick who was believed to be let go is cornerback Joe Burnett, one of the Steelers 5th round picks in 2009. We have not been able to officially confirm this with contacts from the Steelers or Burnett’s camp but there have been strong indications that Burnett was let go on Friday.
It is believed that Crezdon Butler has made the roster over Burnett and we hope to have confirmation in the morning on that front.
The most prominent name who will be released is veteran center Justin Hartwig who signed a four year extension last September. Hartwig’s agent Drew Rosenhaus is currently seeking a trade.
On the defensive line, it is believed the Steelers will carry six to open the season. Word is Nick Eason has made the team over Sunny Harris for the No. 6 spot.
At the linebacker position, rookie Stevenson Sylvester has made the team, earning the No. 8 spot. At this time we can’t confirm the status of Patrick Bailey or Thaddeus Gibson.