Reports indicate Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich suffered a rib injury during the Steelers' 13-10 loss to Baltimore in Week 11. With Ben Roethlisberger likely at least one more week away from being able to play, the possible absence of Leftwich would thrust Charlie Batch into the starting lineup.
It would also mean the Steelers would need to sign a free agent quarterback.
Who's available? How much would he cost? How good is he?
We discussed the possibilities of Tyler Palko and Jerrod Johnson earlier, and here are a few others.
Option 1: Troy Smith
The Steelers had him in camp this year, so he's seen Haley's offense. A Heisman trophy winner in 2006, this 28 year old QB is 6-foot-1, 220 pounds. He was a starter for the Ravens for two years, but an illness sidelined him, and allowed Joe Flacco to start. After Smith came back from illness, he was used on option plays, lining up as receiver on occasion. Ravens signed Kyle Boller to back up Flacco, and released Smith. He was with the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL until this offseason when he was with the Steelers through camp.
Option 2: Dennis Dixon
The Steelers originally drafted Dixon in the 5th round of the 2008 draft, and he stuck around as mostly the 3rd string QB behind Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch until last year. He is currently on the Ravens practice squad, which would mean the Steelers would have to sign him to the active roster, which would kind of be the point, as he would potentially be the #2 behind Batch. An injury in college made him lose out on the Heisman Trophy that many were sure he was a lock for. Dixon also has the distinction of not losing a game as the Steelers starter during the Ben suspension.
Option 3: David Garrard
Garrard is currently a free agent, having been cut by the Dolphins in September of this year. David started his career in Jacksonville, where he beat out our own Byron Leftwich for the starter job during the 2007 pre season. Garrard was also selected to the Pro Bowl in 2009. He also has the distinction of knocking the Steelers out of the first round of the playoffs following the 2007 season. He has a pretty favorable TD/INT ratio with 89/54 respectively, with 16,003 passing yards to go along with an overall 85.8 passer rating. He also has 1,746 rushing yards with 17 rushing TD's.