The Steelers have decided to go with Byron Leftwich as their backup quarterback and rookie Dennis Dixon as No. 3, and they will put Charlie Batch on injured reserve or use a procedural injury settlement in which he would be available to them if needed later.
Batch has about four more weeks before he will be healthy enough to play after his collarbone was broken Aug 8 in the first preseason game. If the Steelers place him on injured reserve, he would be done for the season. If they release him and reach an injury settlement with him, he could be available to them in the second half of the season.
Batch had one year left on his contract with the Steelers and would be paid his $1,355,000 salary if placed on injured reserve. If they reach an injury settlement with him, he would receive a portion of that salary and would become a free agent and could sign with any other team. But he also would be available to the Steelers after midseason if, for example, they lost one of their quarterbacks to an injury -- if he did not sign elsewhere.
Coach Mike Tomlin made many of the required cuts yesterday but decided not to announce any publicly until today. The deadline for making cuts is 6 p.m. All teams must reduce their rosters from 75 to 53 to start the season. Those rookies and first-year players who clear waivers will be eligible to join their eight-man practice squad.