Broken arm puts backup Leftwich on bench
Steelers backup quarterback Byron Leftwich broke his left arm in the third quarter Saturday night and likely will be out for the season.
But coach Mike Tomlin refused to say that after a 34-16 victory against the Atlanta Falcons.
"I don't have the time he is going to be out, but I am sure it will be an extended period of time," Tomlin said.
Leftwich suffered the injury when he landed awkwardly after scrambling for 6 yards. He immediately ran to the sideline screaming in pain.
"It is disheartening," receiver Antonio Brown said. "To see him in that type of pain really hurt me."
Leftwich was wheeled through the locker room after the game on a gurney as teammates and coaches wished him well.
Leftwich's injury paves the way for the Steelers to keep both Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon. Before the injury, one of them likely would have been cut before the season opener.
"It just goes to show you it's good to have four NFL-capable quarterbacks in a training camp-like setting," Tomlin said. "It always has a way of working its way out."
Tomlin called injuries to center Maurkice Pouncey (ankle), defensive tackle Casey Hampton (shoulder) and cornerback Keenan Lewis (left knee) "minimal." Conversely, rookie tight end Miguel Chavis tore his pectoral muscle and likely is out for the season.
The Steelers dusted off their no-huddle offense for the first time this preseason -- and with some success.
The Steelers used the no-huddle on two drives, with one resulting in a 77-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown.
The first series of no-huddle wasn't as successful as the second. Roethlisberger went to the no-huddle seven times during the game's third series. He completed 3 of 5 passes for 20 yards, was sacked once and called one running play for a 1-yard gain.
In all, the Steelers went to the no-huddle with the first-team offense nine times. The results: 4 of 6 passing for 97 yards, a touchdown and a sack to go with two rushing plays for 5 yards.
McFadden sits again
Cornerback Bryant McFadden had hoped to see his first action of the preseason yesterday. Instead, he was inactive for the third straight game, still nursing a hamstring injury.
Also sitting out were cornerbacks Ike Taylor, Niles Brinkley and Cortez Allen; running back Baron Batch; linebacker Mario Harvey; left tackle Jonathan Scott and receivers Jerricho Cotchery and Emmanuel Sanders.
Just for kicks
With the new kickoff rule moving the ball up 5 yards, the Steelers did not get an opportunity to return a kick in the first two preseason games.
Brown got a chance on the opening kick yesterday and ripped off a 51-yard return to midfield. A 15-yard personal foul penalty called on punter Matt Bosher for a horse-collar tackle put the Steelers in even better field position. Three plays later, Rashard Mendenhall scored from 1 yard out to give the Steelers a 7-0 lead.
The Steelers' entire first-team defense — except for James Farrior — played one series into the second half and was on the field for 60 snaps.
The first-team offense did not play in the second half, finishing at 25 snaps.