We’re two weeks into the 2010 season and it’s already the weirdest one I can remember. The franchise quarterback is out a month because he’s a dirtbag, the backup quarterback missed the first two games because he was injured in a meaningless preseason contest. That opened the door for the backup to the backup, fan favorite Dennis Dixon, who had one-and-a-half shaky outings before leaving Sunday’s Titans game early in the second quarter for fourth-stringer Charlie Batch.
And now, according to a PFT report, it turns out that Dixon has a tear in the lateral meniscus of his left knee, the same knee in which he torn his ACL three years ago. PFT adds that its source “says that Dixon will be getting a second opinion on Tuesday and determining the next steps on Wednesday.” The Post-Gazette‘s source has Dixon missing 3-5 weeks.
Earlier today the Steelers re-signed Byron Leftwich after giving him the weekend off, which means that come next Sunday in Tampa either he or Batch could be under center. And if the bad luck continues on the injury front, don’t be surprised to see Antwaan Randle El at some point, too.
(Half-serious aside: if there’s a bright side, the Steelers roster is chock full of former QBs. Randle El, Hines Ward, Arnaz Battle, Heath Miller, and probably a couple other guys I’m leaving out. Maybe Pittsburgh should think about re-signing Cedrick Wilson for the week — remember that completion he had on a two-point conversion during the ’06 season? I mentioned this on Sunday’s podcast, but for strictly comedic reasons, I want to see Casey Hampton under center. Or even better, have him play out of the shotgun. Pretty sure no defense spent time game-planning for that eventuality. And, yes, probably for good reason. But never underestimate the paralyzing power of laughter when it comes to rendering your opponent ineffective.)
So, right, injuries have been a problem and we’re not even to Week 3. But you could argue that losing Hampton or Max Starks is a bigger blow for this team than being without Dixon for an indeterminate time. Look, I pimped Dixon every chance I got during training camp, but let’s be honest: he didn’t do much in five quarters of regular-season work. He’s young, inexperienced and nervous — I get that — but the Steelers offense won’t lose anything with Byron or Chaz starting (in fact, you can argue that it has a chance to be more consistent).
No idea who will get the nod (I’d like to see Batch but Tomlin traded for Leftwich for a reason), but if the first fortnight of the season is any indication, we’ll probably see both of them at some point.