Steelers' Batch breaks collarbone in preseason opener vs. Eagles

Updated: August 9, 2008, 11:05 AM ET
By James Walker | ESPN.com

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers had their first significant in-game injury of the 2008 season Friday night as backup quarterback Charlie Batch suffered a fractured right collarbone during their preseason victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Steelers Need To Regroup
Although it doesn't seem significant on the surface, those who follow the Steelers know how much of a blow backup quarterback Charlie Batch's injury is to the team. James Walker

Batch was hurt while scrambling with just under six minutes to go in the second quarter. Typically, this type of injury can take somewhere between 4-6 weeks to recover.

This could be a significant blow to Pittsburgh's depth. Ben Roethlisberger is set as the starter, but the team is one play away from having to go with rookie quarterback Dennis Dixon, a fifth-round pick from Oregon.

Batch has been a reliable backup in the NFL for 11 years, including the past four years in Pittsburgh. Now the Steelers likely will be in the market for another quarterback to backup Roethlisberger.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said after the game that the team will look for a veteran replacement. "It is an unfortunate incident but as you guys know our approach is that this is part of football,'' Tomlin said. "We will regroup and make the necessary adjustments.''

James Walker covers the NFL for ESPN.com.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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