Steelers to try out two QBs

Steelers to try out two QBs
November 20, 2012, 5:00 pm
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The Ravens could be facing the Steelers' third different starting quarterback when Pittsburgh visit Baltimore in two weeks, as reports indicate that Byron Leftwich sustained broken ribs against the Ravens on Sunday night and could be out for a few weeks at least.

Leftwich was playing in place of Ben Roethlisberger, who is out with his own rib and shoulder injuries and is questionable at best for a return in time to face the Ravens on Dec. 2.

The Steelers are left with veteran Charlie Batch, who is expected to start at Cleveland on Sunday, and reportedly have a pair of quarterback tryouts scheduled for Tuesday.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the favorite to win a roster spot as the Steelers backup quarterback -- at least temporarily -- is former Eagle Mike Kafka, who was to work out for the Steelers on Tuesday. Kafka, a fourth-round draft pick out of Northwestern in 2010, played in four games off the bench for the Eagles last year but was beaten out by Nick Foles for the Eagles' backup job this fall.

Brian Hoyer, who appeared in 13 NFL games as Tom Brady's backup in New England from 2009-11 but was cut late this preseason, is also expected to try out.

One person the Steelers apparently considered was Dennis Dixon, a former Steeler quarterback who is now on the Ravens' practice squad. Dixon made three career starts for the Steelers, including one against the Ravens in 2009. If signed off the Ravens practice squad, Dixon would have to join the Steelers' 53-man roster. But's Jason LaCanfora reported that Dixon told the Steelers he'd prefer to stay with the Ravens.

For now, the Steelers apparently will turn to Batch, 37, a 15-year veteran. He has been a backup with the Steelers since 2002, making seven starts in that time, including two against the Ravens.

With the Steelers set to make a return visit to Baltimore in two weeks, the prognosis for both Roethlisberger and Leftwich remains unclear. Roethlisberger is dealing with shoulder and rib problems sustained on a hit against Kansas City. Leftwich apparently was hurt on his 31-yard touchdown run in the opening minute against the Ravens, but he played the entire game and was hit hard all night. That included a ferocious, blind-side sack by James Ihedigbo in the fourth quarter.