Steelers Release QB Byron Leftwich, Sign DT Steve McLendon From Practice Squad

The Steelers needed an extra defensive line body for Sunday with nose tackle Casey Hampton ruled out against the Titans this week so they promoted defensive tackle Steve McLendon from the practice squad and released quarterback Byron Leftwich to make room on the 53 man roster. McLendon will be active on Sunday and will likely back up Chris Hoke in the lineup. McLendon will have a short stay on the roster as Leftwich reportedly will be re-signed next week according to reports. The move also means that reserve lineman Ramon Foster will likely be inactive on Sunday.

  • Tim

    If you’re wonderdering about the sense in all this and the Emergency QB rule: from

    “Seventeen years ago (1991) the third-quarterback rule was instituted to enable teams to have an emergency quarterback available who was not on the 45-man game-day active roster, since many teams, for strategic purposes, only carried two quarterbacks on their game-day roster.

    Everybody thinks they understand the NFL’s “third-quarterback” rule. But do they?

    The rule states that if a third quarterback is inserted before the fourth quarter, a team’s first two quarterbacks cannot be used in the game at any position.

    Another aspect of the rule is sometimes misunderstood. It is a coach’s decision as to whether a third quarterback will be used.

    The active quarterbacks do not have to be injured for a team to use its third quarterback.

    by my analysis this would preclude El from playing if Lefty would come in before the 4th quarter and in any event it looks like Lefty isn’t quite ready to play

  • Tim

    last sentece should read ‘EL from playing another position if El would come in’….please edit


  • Dave Bryan

    Tim, Tomlin has the right to designate or not designate a QB as the (3rd QB) on the inactive list prior to the game. el would be active and thus could play any position.

  • Tim

    that makes sense per rules….can you think of any reason why Lefty is being risked in FA at all if he could get a free roster spot? I can’t

    thanks Dave

  • Dave Bryan

    Because he is a veteran, Leftwich is free agent and not subject to a wire claim when released. He would have to agree to be signed by a team. The steelers probably have a wink, wink deal with him to bring him back. This does not mean though that a team could offer him the moon and sign him. Odds are they think he may still be a few weeks away from being able to play as well and thus no team will sign him.

  • Tim

    thanks dave

    can you tell me (and others) how this actually frees up a roster spot? (assuming Lefty designated EQ)

    I can’t figure that out but surely I’m missing something here

    are we bringing someone else in for EQ? that would be the only thing I can think of

    I’m at a loss to understand this assuming Lefty gets paid regardless….even if he can’t play he’s protected as EQ and it doesn’t seem to make any financial difference

  • Tim

    I get it now dave. Lefty is the least risky player on the 53 to be picked up. I was thinking more aobut the 45 (+EQ). We still have to account for 53 and we need a backup on the DL. Nevermind, it all makes sense now.

    Thanks again

  • Dave Bryan

    Yes. Leftwich was released from the roster. McLendon signed from the practice squad. The Steelers still must make 8 inactives and will not have an inactive 3rd QB. El will play QB god forbid Dixon and Batch get hurt. Make sense?