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Does Byron Leftwich injury have Steelers eyeing QBs?


Ben Roethlisberger isn't the only Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback dealing with upper-body pain.

A four-part series on player health and safety with reporter Andrea Kremer aired Tuesday through Friday on NFL Network:

Tuesday: Football's safety issues
Wednesday: Virginia Tech's helmet technology, The "Hit System"
Thursday: Inside Darrelle Revis' rehab
Friday: The lack of common safety standards in youth football

» For more information on player health and safety, visit's Jason La Canfora reported Monday the Steelers are concerned that Byron Leftwich might be "out for a while" because of the rib and shoulder injuries he suffered in Sunday night's 13-10 loss to Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers are expected to work out quarterbacks this week, according to La Canfora.'s Aditi Kinkhabwala reports that Charlie Batch will start at quarterback Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, according to a source with direct knowledge of the Steelers' plans. Kinkhabwala confirmed ESPN's Chris Mortensen's report that backup quarterback Byron Leftwich sustained fractured ribs.

Leftwich was hurt while tumbling into the end zone on his 31-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, but the backup-turned-starter played the entire game. He appeared to be in pain as the night wore on, though. His deep ball was visibly off the mark, but Leftwich downplayed his condition after the game.

The picture is darkening in Pittsburgh with no definitive road map for Big Ben's rehabilitation. SI's Peter King wrote Monday that "anyone forecasting a week for him to return is guessing." King spoke with a renowned thoracic surgeon who warned that a premature re-entry into game action would put Roethlisberger at risk of nerve damage.

Only near-ancient Charlie Batch remains behind Leftwich, and we wouldn't be surprised to see the Steelers dial up David Garrard for a look-see. The Steelers have confirmed no visits or intentions to add to the roster, but investigating available arms makes sense even if Leftwich is ready to play.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.


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