It’s come to this. A 37-year-old quarterback will start a game for a team with a one-game lead in the race for a wild card spot in the AFC. Godspeed, Charlie.
NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala cited a source close to the Steelers who told her that Batch will start when Pittsburgh visits Cleveland in Week 12. The ancient elder statesmen of NFL backups who’s been in the league since the forward pass was deemed legal, Batch started a game last year when Ben Roethlisberger went down, and he looked pretty OK, completing 15 of his 22 attempts for 208 yards and an interception.
That’s pretty much what you should expect from a backup quarterback of Batch’s age who’s only started seven games since 2001: soul-crushing adequateness. The Steelers are also reportedly set to workout Plaxico Burress tomorrow with Antonio Brown and Jerricho Cotchery injured. This means we live in a world where Batch could complete a pass to Burress in a meaningful NFL game. If anyone needs me I’ll be in my bunker.
The move to Batch was necessitated by Leftwich’s shoulder injury last night that began when he stumbled his way into the end zone on his 31-yard rushing score, and getting crunched late in the game by Paul Kruger didn’t help matters. Batch is the backup to the backup with Roethlisberger likely still out for a few weeks. Nerve damage isn’t for everyone.
For your fantasy ills, downgrade every Steelers offensive player for the foreseeable future until Roethlisberger returns, as Batch’s ability to connect deep with Mike Wallace might not exist. And while there will surely be a heavy lean on the running game that could boost the production of Rashard Mendenhall and to a lesser extent Jonathan Dwyer, they’ll both be relying on Batch to keep eight defenders out of the box. That won’t end well.