Charlie Batch will make his first NFL start since the final week of the 2007 season on Sunday when he will be under center for the Steelers, who visit the fellow undefeated Buccaneers in Tampa.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin elected on Wednesday to start Batch, at one point the no. 4 quarterback on the depth chart in the preseason, over Byron Leftwich, who is still recovering from a sprained left knee ligament suffered in the Steelers final preseason game. When the injury occurred, Leftwich has been the player scheduled to start the four games during whcih Ben Roethlisberger would be suspended.
Batch's last start came in a loss in Week 17 of the 2007 season. Even then, Batch was only playing because the Steelers, who clinched the AFC North title the week before, were resting starters for the playoffs. Batch had only two pass attempts in the regular season between 2008 and 2009.
If Batch, a Pittsburgh native who has served primarily as a back-up in his nine years with the team, performs well against the Buccaneers, he could possibly start multiple games in a season for only the second time since he was the no. 1 quarterback in Detroit in 2001.