Injuries have put a strain on the Steelers as they look to set their final roster for the regular season, meaning they may have to cut long-time backup quarterback Charlie Batch to make room for someone else on the roster.
The Steelers are strapped by the fact that several important players, such as Rashard Mendenhall and top pick David DeCastro, are hurt, but not hurt enough to merit placement on the injured reserve, ending their season. The Steelers will have to bring them on the 53-man roster, as well as players who are actually fit to see playing time. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that Batch might lose his job:
Batch, 37, is scheduled to get a lot of playing time against the Panthers, but the Steelers may not be in position to keep three quarterbacks -- something they have traditionally done because of the importance they place on the position. Byron Leftwich cemented his position as the backup to Ben Roethlisberger with an impressive showing last week in Buffalo, creating a situation where Batch could possibly be playing his final game with the Steelers tonight.
Batch, as an older player, has long been ineligible for a spot on a practice squad, whereas fourth-stringer Jarrod Johnson is. The Steelers could cut Batch and leave Johnson on the scout team, where he wouldn't take a roster spot, for help in practice.
Batch, who hails from nearby Homestead, has been with the Steelers since 2002, including both Super Bowl runs, and has always been capable when called upon to sub in for Ben Roethlisberger. The fan favorite has started seven games for the Steelers, going 5-2 in those performances.