The Pittsbugh Steelers need help. They need Ben Roethlisberger under center and soon, or else any hopes of post-season play will drift away. Roethlisberger has been sidelined with rib/shoulder injury he suffered against the Kansas City Chiefs and now the second meeting against the Baltimore Ravens is looming on Sunday. Reports have suggested that Roethlisberger will start light throwing this week in order to determine his range of motion.
In his absence, the Steelers offense has been dreadful. Pittsburgh committed eight turnovers on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, a team that Pittsburgh has defeated 16 of the last 17 contests. Each Steelers running back recorded a fumble while the aging QB Charlie Batch three three interceptions. Batch finished the afternoon with a 38.7 passer rating. Deep threat WR Mike Wallace recorded just one reception for nine yards.
Batch started against the Browns because second string quarterback Byron Leftwich suffered a rib injury on the first play of last week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. Leftwich is not the answer either for the Steelers. He completed just 18 of 39 pass attempts with no touchdowns and one interception.
It was reported last week that Roethlisberger could potentially miss up to six weeks. If that is the case and the quarterback play does not improve for the Steelers, Pittsburgh could find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff race.
The backup quarterback situation in Pittsburgh is horrendous. It begs the question as to whether or not the Steelers should have done more in the offseason in order to address the position. Roethlisberger is known as a tough, gritty quarterback that plays through pain, but he has not played an entire 16 game season since 2008, the only season in his career he’s played a complete slate of games. Leftwich hadn’t started for two seasons while Batch, who turns 38 next month, attempted just 24 passes last season.
If it’s determined that Roethlisberger will indeed miss six weeks, why wouldn’t the Steelers bring in David Garrard for at least a workout? The quarterback play can’t get much worse.