Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich is not on the injury report this week for the first time since he injured his ribs in the 13-10 loss the Baltimore Ravens back in Week 11. Although he has apparently returned to full health he has not returned to his spot on the quarterback depth chart as Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports via Twitter that Charlie Batch will be the No. 2 quarterback against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday behind starter Ben Roethlisberger.
While Roethlisberger remained sidelined with his rib and shoulder injuries Batch started the two games after Leftwich went down against the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens and won the latter of the two thanks in part to his 25-of-36 passing performance good for 276 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens at Heinz Field. That win included Batch driving the Steelers offense 61 yards on 12 plays to set up the game-winning kick by Shaun Suisham.
The shake up of the depth chart is not surprising as Batch has earned the backup role with the win over the Ravens and he will most likely keep that role for the remainder of the season as a result. Leftwich is expected to remain the inactive quarterback moving forward with Roethlisberger now back healthy.
Both Batch and Leftwich will once again be unrestricted free agents at the end of season just as they were last year. There is a chance that one might be asked back year on a one-year qualifying contract, but the chances of both returning are slim. Batch has not given any indication that he plans on retiring after turning 38 years old just last week and Leftwich certainly intends to keep playing next season as well.