Steelers quarterback Dennis Dixon has the chance to make the starting job his for the first four games if he plays well, coach Mike Tomlin said today.
Dixon will start Sunday in the regular-season opener against the Falcons, taking over for Byron Leftwich.
Leftwich, whom the Steelers planned to start while Ben Roethlisberger serves a four-game suspension, is out with a sprained left knee.
"Injuries are a part of the game," Tomlin said today at his weekly news conference. "They are unfortunate but they also provide opportunities for others. What others do with those opportunities often time determine what happens going forward. I acknowledge that."
In other Steelers news:
• Tomlin said Isaac Redman will get first crack at the job of short-yardage back.
"We're going to give him an opportunity to excel," Tomlin said.
• Jeff Reed, and not punter Daniel Sepulveda, will kick off Sunday.
The two split the duties during the preseason with the Steelers giving Sepulveda a long look before going with Reed.
• Tomlin said Bryant McFadden is healthy and will start against the Falcons.
McFadden returned to practice yesterday for the first time since sustaining a pectoral injury in an Aug. 21 exhibition game against the Giants.
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