TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Rule change leaves Dixon in limbo for Sunday's game

Steelers/NFL Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011
 

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stepped lightly in the pocket to guard is sprained left foot during practice Friday. He limped noticeably during practice and measured every step as he left the team's South Side practice facility.

Roethlisberger, listed as probable on the injury report, is expecting to start when the Steelers (2-2) face the Tennessee Titans (3-1) at Heinz Field on Sunday.

"It's just dealing with pain," said Roethlisberger, who injured the foot on the next-to-last series at Houston a week ago. "Every time you take a step it hurts, and that's not a fun thing."

Coach Mike Tomlin isn't likely to decide about his quarterback until about two hours before kickoff, in part, because activating Dennis Dixon is an option. Dixon has been inactive the entire season.

Under a rule change that took effect this season, teams no longer have the luxury of deactivating their third-string quarterback and then playing him if necessary. If teams want an "emergency" quarterback, they must make him one of 46 active players on game days.

Dixon probably would remain inactive if Roethlisberger suits up. If Roethlisberger is unable to go the distance, Charlie Batch would step in, and receiver Hines Ward would become the "emergency" quarterback.

"I don't know what Ben's status is for Sunday," Batch said. "The offense isn't going to change because I've had all week to prepare plays that I like.

"In the perfect world, you'll like to know if you're going to start. It feels good to have stepped into the huddle and called plays as opposed to looking at a (play) card, so I'm ready to play if I have to."

Dixon worked with the scout team yesterday.

"It's out of my control. I just want to be ready," said Dixon, who started two games last year before suffering a season-ending knee injury. "If I have an opportunity, I will welcome it.

"It's pretty much up in the air, but I have to prepare myself as if I'm going to be other there on Sunday."

The Steelers will be without six players: linebackers James Harrison (eye) and Jason Worilds (quadriceps), guard Chris Kemoeatu (knee), defensive end Aaron Smith (ankle), nose tackle Casey Hampton and running back Mewelde Moore (ankle). Cornerback Cortez Allen (ankle) and running back Rashard Mendenhall are listed as questionable.

The Titans will be without safety Chris Hope (knee). Tight end Craig Stevens (rib) is questionable. Guard Leroy Harris (knee), receiver Marc Mariani (hip) and linebacker Gerald McRath (left knee) are probable.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Steelers

  1. Steelers’ Wheaton adjusting his game moving to slot receiver
  2. Inside the Steelers: Ventrone suffers right ankle injury
  3. Steelers RB Archer trying to catch up after tough rookie season
  4. Steelers LB Timmons has grown into leadership role on defense
  5. Steelers notebook: Backup QB Gradkowski remains out with shoulder issue
  6. Steelers’ Brown arrives in style, vows to be ‘the best in the world’
  7. Butler, Steelers defense take on new challenges
  8. Rossi: St. Vincent a football sanctuary during Steelers training camp
  9. Steelers tackle Beachum braces for competition along offensive line
  10. Steelers notebook: Rookie CB Golson still dealing with left shoulder pain
  11. IOC urges US to come up with another bid city for 2024 Games