Creating A Roster Spot For A Sidelined DeCastro Might Cost Batch His

As it looks right now, the Pittsburgh Steelers intend on carrying injured rookie right guard David DeCastro on the 53 man roster to start the season. Of course this could change prior to Friday when the final roster decisions need to be made depending on what the doctors find during the knee surgery.

If indeed all goes as planned, DeCastro would be yet another player not ready to contribute when the season starts. Rashard Mendenhall and Stevenson Sylvester are surely not going to play in the opener at Denver. James Harrison and Jason Worilds remain on the PUP list, and of the two, you would figure that Harrison would at least be activated to the 53 man roster by Friday, while the status of Worilds remains a mystery. Even if both end up not starting the season on the PUP list, how ready are they for action being as they have missed the entire preseason and training camp?

Safety Ryan Clark will also sit out the game against Denver due to his sickle cell trait, so already the Steelers inactive list for the opener is pretty full when you figure that either Casey Hampton or rookie Alameda Ta\’amu will also be on the Denver inactive list.

The injury to DeCastro could very well end up costing 3rd string quarterback Charlie Batch his roster spot to start the season. It was believed that Batch would get some work this past Saturday in the game against the Buffalo Bills, but after DeCastro went down early in the game, those plans may have changed. The Steelers might not have wanted to risk Batch getting injured and wind up being forced to put him on injured reserve, which would have also meant having to guarantee his salary. Certainly something to ponder.

One thing to watch for Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers is whether or not Batch gets any playing time at all in the game. If he doesn\’t, it is a good sign that he will be released and ┬áthat 4th string quarterback Jerrod Johnson will be signed to the practice squad. The Steelers would then only carry two quarterbacks on their initial 53 man roster and hope that Batch does not get offers from another team such as the Bills or the Arizona Cardinals. Having Johnson on the practice squad would be insurance against that happening.

Spots on the 53 man roster are more precious than ever thanks to all of the injuries and thin depth currently at the linebacker position. The injury to DeCastro couldn\’t have come at a worse time and very well could result in Batch being done in Pittsburgh for at least a little while and possibly even forever.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    On most teams, Batch would have been out a long time ago, but the Steelers had the luxury of letting him sit there and with Lefty’s injuries we needed him. At this point, I wish Batch the best. He is a Pittsburgh guy, but if someone like Arizona calls offering him a starting spot, I would applaud him taking it. Johnson I bet gets all but the 1st and 2nd series on Thursday. Ben will play 1, Lefty will play 1, and Johnson will probably get the rest.

  • Steve Duncan

    Batch isn’t going to go to a whole new team at his age. He loves Pittsburgh, and isn’t going to upset his life for a 4 month contract. If they cut him, they can always call him up when needed.

  • DoctorNoah

    I would cut him and immediately hire him back as assistant QB coach.

  • SteelSpine

    I vaguely recall Steelers had already done that with Charlie in previous years – they had cut him knowing Charlie wouldnt leave Pgh. It’s like the Steelers will again have a 54 man roster because they’ll know a released Charlie wont leave Pgh.
    Even if/when cut Charlie, altho DD on 53-man roster will cost a player a spot, I’m not sure that means the spot it cost is Charlie, it could be another player cut.
    When Steelers get a significant injury during this regular season needing to therefore add a player onto the 53, I assume that’s when they will move DD to IR for the year. I think the staff did that last year(s) but I forget which player(s) it was they had been carrying on the 53 til they needed that injured player’s roster spot.

  • Intropy

    I assume it’s legal to sign a coach to the roster mid-season. Has it ever happened? It would be kind of funny to see, thought of course I’d root against it because it implies an injury.