Report: Dixon Has Torn Meniscus, Could Be Out 3-5 Weeks

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.

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  • Randy Steele

    Get this: Fox Sports reports that the Steelers have set up a workout this week with former Troy State quarterback Levi Brown. Brown was a 7th-round pick last April by the Buffalo Bills.

  • Greg

    big snack running the qb sneak on 3rd and short? hilarious.

  • Kept

    Why call out Ben as a dirt bag. He’s not that bad.

  • RoB D

    Thus endeth the DD experience. He was underwhelming but that’s exactly what should have been expected. Still, I liked the fact they went with youth and gave him a shot to prove his mettle. I don’t think Charlie Batch would have done much more really..given the rust and his age. But I think Byron will get the next two starts and if he can help them win ONE of them , we can all be happy.

    I feel very badly for Dixon as he seems like a very nice athlete and he’s had his share of injuries including the devastating one in college. As a side note, it seem that around the league injuries are already a factor. A lot of big names like Andre Johnson are already dinged up.

  • drinkingclub

    Byron will probably start, with Batch as the back up, is my guess, and I think that makes the most sense. Not sure what to think about Dixon now. Is he done as a Steeler after this season? I think so.

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  • ryan


    Well, according to Florio, the Steelers can now trade Dixon for a first-round pick. Good thing they didn’t intentionally hinder his progress to protect Big Ben’s long-term future in Pittsburgh.

    • RoB D

      The worst part about Ryan’s post is that is exactly what Florio was arguing. It’s just so starkly, unambiguously ignorant that my brain overloads just reading

      • drinkingclub

        It is really to bad for Dixon, though. I must admit the Steelers knew what they were doing bringing Leftwich back. I just hope Batch and Leftwich can hold up for two more games!

  • matt

    I think Batch should get the start. I doubt Leftwich’s knee is really ready. Remember Troy last year? “I think it might be this week.” then like 4 weeks alter and still not playing.

    Besides, with our O-line and the heat to deal with, I would rather a currently healthy Batch for the moment. Save Leftwich for Baltimore, when both QB’s could seriously get hurt. Batch can get full practice week in as the starter and knock off any rust.

    Re: Batches botched snap, Big Ben does that like 3 times a season, so oh well!

    Thank god God-del didn’t hold the suspension up 6 games.

  • Steve

    If we have to dig down the QB depth chart to Randle El, remember that he has as many SB TD passes as Ben.

    Things could be much worse. Hell, in the long line of the Steelers’ makeshift substitutions, anyone they come up with at QB will far exceed the Deebo long snap debacle (now there’s an apples-to-T-bone steaks comparison for ya).

    And to complete the absurdist imagery: Envision Snack going over the top on a goal line drive. Would make Bus look like Herschel Walker.