With the Steelers' grip on a playoff berth slipping away, they are hoping to get injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back for their game against the Ravens on Sunday, but coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that, "right now, Charlie Batch is our quarterback."
That can't be good news to Steelers fans, who watched Batch throw three interceptions in the Steelers' 20-14 loss to the last-place Browns this past week.
Batch, 37, was making his first start of the season in place of Byron Leftwich, who had made his first start of the season against the Ravens the week before in place of the injured Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger is dealing with shoulder and rib injuries sustained against Kansas City. The rib injury was considered more serious because of its proximity to the aorta and other major blood vessels, but reports indicate that the rib has healed to the point where Roethlisberger could play.
Of course, there still is the sprained shoulder to deal with.
" Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball yesterday," Tomlin said on Tuesday. "He will take steps maybe towards playing this week. We will leave the door open for him. He has a chance."
Leftwich, who sustained broken ribs against the Ravens two weeks ago, is also trying to return to action and made some throws on Monday.
But there's no question that with the Steelers teetering on the edge, they want to get Roethlisberger back on the field this Sunday if at all possible. Roethlisberger, 30, has a reputation for being one of the toughest players in the game, and so it won't surprise many if he's on the field Sunday.
Until then, though, the job apparently belongs to Batch, who will turn 38 next month and has been a backup with the Steelers since 2002, making eight starts in that time. Batch is 5-3 as the Steelers' starter, including 0-2 against the Ravens.
"We are working offensively to put together a game plan that complements his strengths," Tomlin said.
"That’s our plan until otherwise. Obviously Leftwich and Roethlisberger will be participating in some form or fashion. We will let that participation and the results guide us in terms of their availability as we push toward the latter part of the week. We will see where those guys are later in the week."