Steelers sign Burress, add quarterback; release Baron Batch and McFadden
The Steelers have signed former wide receiver Plaxico Burress and quarterback Brian Hoyer after working out both players today.
Burress and Hoyer worked out at the team's South Side facility this morning along with former Penn State wide receiver Derrick Williams and former Philadelphia Eagles back quarterback Mike Kafka.
Coach Mike Tomlin said after the workout the Steelers intended to sign one player at each position -- and they did.
"Due to injuries at a number of positions, we feel we need to fortify our depth at these positions," Tomlin said.
The Steelers need a wide receiver to replace Jerricho Cotchery, who sustained multiple rib fractures near the end of the loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
But the biggest reason the Steelers signed Burress, their No. 1 draft pick in 2000, is that wide receiver Antonio Brown was expected to miss his third game in a row Sunday with a high-ankle sprain.
The Steelers needed a backup quarterback because Byron Leftwich had two cracked ribs sustained against the Ravens and will not play in Cleveland.
Tomlin said the injuries to Cotchery and Leftwich are not season-ending, but both will not play against the Browns.
Ben Roethlisberger will miss his second game in a row with shoulder/ribs injuries, but Tomlin said he had additional tests today and "we are encouraged with his status."
Tomlin reiterated that Roethlisberger's injuries to his shoulder and ribs "are one in the same."
Hoyer, who played at Michigan State, was most the recently the No. 3 quarterback with the New England Patriots.
Burress left after the 2004 season in free agency after catching 261 passes for 4,164 yards and 22 touchdowns with the Steelers. He was the eighth overall pick in the 2000 draft.
To make room on the 53-man roster for Burress and Hoyer, the Steelers released running back Baron Batch and linebacker Marshall McFadden.
First Published November 20, 2012 1:33 pm