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Steelers announce that Dennis Dixon will start

After keeping quiet about the status of starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for much of the day, the Pittsburgh Steelers have announced that Dennis Dixon will get the Sunday night start in place of Roethlisberger, who suffered a concussion last Sunday in overtime of a loss to the Chiefs.

The Steelers travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens in a key AFC North tilt (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET).

Former Pitt quarterback Tyler Palko will serve as the backup, and Roethlisberger will be the emergency quarterback.

We still can’t figure out why Roethlisberger would be able to play if Dixon and Palko get hurt, if Ben isn’t well enough to start.

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44 Responses to “Steelers announce that Dennis Dixon will start”
  1. Agamemnon says: Nov 28, 2009 8:57 PM

    You’ve been harping the Big Ben playing, and I think you are mostly right, if a bit over the top in your calling out the Steelers. My guess? The Steelers feel that they can protect Big Ben well enough late in the game (when it would be likely that Ben would have to enter.) If/when he does get in, I would bet there would be a LOT of runs and perhaps a bunch of quick passes out of the shotgun. Maybe a punt on second downs and long?

  2. red13 says: Nov 28, 2009 9:00 PM

    Dixon starting against the Ravens with no practice reps during the week. Ouch for the Steelers.

  3. bbq says: Nov 28, 2009 9:06 PM

    “We still can’t figure out why Roethlisberger would be able to play if Dixon and Palko get hurt, if Ben isn’t well enough to start.”
    Well, Florio, I would imagine that it’s a safety precaution. Obviously, they want to protect their starting quarterback who just helped win them two Super Bowls in the last four years. Additionally, it’s very unlikely that both Dixon and Palko will get hurt in this game, unless the Steelers are just really really unlucky. If that WERE to happen, then Big Ben would be standing by to fill in lest they have no quarterback and are forced to forfeit the game — hence the term “emergency quarterback”.

  4. Klytus says: Nov 28, 2009 9:10 PM

    It is very rare that two quarterbacks are injured in the same game. The reason Ben is the emergency quarterback is because if both Dixon and Palko go down that would constitute an emergency.
    Possibly the Steelers don’t want to sign another quarterback to the roster? Charlie Batch may return within a month? Ben’s headache’s may subside soon?
    GO STEELERS!

  5. this class sucks says: Nov 28, 2009 9:16 PM

    I will explain why he isn’t going to start. Concussions damage on your brain is cumulatalive. So if Ben gets another concussion so close to his last one he has a much greater chance of suffering sierus brain injury later in life. So if they are desperate than he can go in but they don’t want to risk another concussion.

  6. Bmore Styles says: Nov 28, 2009 9:22 PM

    Yeah right… Ben’s just milking it for every last drop. The man is worse than those Desperate Housewives. I won’t believe that he’s not playing till the game ends.
    Big Jen has taken being a drama queen to a whole other level.

  7. redsysu says: Nov 28, 2009 9:23 PM

    To say this is a huge game for the Steelers is an understatement. I hope that Dixon returns to his Heisman Hype playing status and beats the Rat Birds in Baltimore

  8. bake says: Nov 28, 2009 9:27 PM

    what happenend to the quaterback we just sighned? he is not the only lost , we still have troy polamalu out

  9. jtownflood says: Nov 28, 2009 9:30 PM

    If all hope was not last after the past weeks, it’s time to put the Super Bowl champs to bed. IMO just mail in the rest of the season and work on getting a higher pick for the draft.

  10. Reba says: Nov 28, 2009 9:38 PM

    What happened to Charlie Batch?

  11. ncsteeler says: Nov 28, 2009 9:38 PM

    What harm does it do for Ben to be emergency QB? They only have two other QBs on the roster. What if it’s 14-10 Ravens with :03 to go ball on the 50 and both Dixon and Placko are hurt. Then maybe you send Ben into to heave a hail mary. If both DD and TP go down in the 1st half you won’t see Ben.

  12. SmackMyVickUp says: Nov 28, 2009 9:40 PM

    After looking at each teams remaining schedule the two games they play each other are going to play a huge factor for the wild-card berth.
    Green Bay could put up a fight against both teams, as can Miami. Chicago is tough @ home as the Squeelers well know. (17-14)
    Squeelers remaining schedule:
    @ Baltimore
    Oakland
    @ Cleveland
    Green Bay
    Baltimore
    @ Miami
    Ravens remaining schedule:
    Pittsburgh
    @ Green Bay
    Detroit
    Chicago
    @ Pittsburgh
    @ Oakland

  13. urbusted says: Nov 28, 2009 9:42 PM

    Steelers will drop this one for sure.

  14. Reba says: Nov 28, 2009 9:42 PM

    The news here is that Troy is out again NOT Rapistberger. I’ve seen Dixon play in pre-season and I thought he did a great job. Just read that Charlie was hurt too in the KC game. Forget #7 and worry about #43.

  15. red13 says: Nov 28, 2009 9:45 PM

    Reba:
    Batch broke his left wrist in relief of Ben last week and had to have surgery – out 4-6 weeks.

  16. Laxer37 says: Nov 28, 2009 9:49 PM

    red13 says:
    Dixon starting against the Ravens with no practice reps during the week. Ouch for the Steelers.
    ————————————————-
    The facts are that Dixon took snaps all week and completely ran the first team offense on Friday. Keep in mind he has been on the team for two years so it’s not as if he just came in off the street.
    Still your concern is duly noted. It will be a callenging first start.

  17. red13 says: Nov 28, 2009 9:53 PM

    Klytus:
    Veyr rare for two quarterbacks to get injured in the same game? That just happened to the Steelers last week, right? (Roethlisberger and Batch both got injured…)

  18. HuckNZ says: Nov 28, 2009 9:57 PM

    ncsteeler has it right — they don’t have a fourth QB on the roster, so their choices are to have eight players (including Ben) inactive or to have seven players inactive and Ben as emergency QB. Even if Ben had a bad shoulder, the swine flu, and polio, you’d still pick option 2.

  19. tcweller says: Nov 28, 2009 9:59 PM

    Two QBs don’t have to be hurt for Ben to play.
    NFL’S “third-quarterback” rule — sometimes misunderstood:
    Seventeen years ago (1991) the third-quarterback rule was instituted to enable teams to have an emergency quarterback available who was not on the 45-man game-day active roster, since many teams, for strategic purposes, only carried two quarterbacks on their game-day roster.
    Everybody thinks they understand the NFL’s “third-quarterback” rule. But do they?
    The rule states that if a third quarterback is inserted before the fourth quarter, a team’s first two quarterbacks cannot be used in the game at any position.
    Another aspect of the rule is sometimes misunderstood. It is a coach’s decision as to whether a third quarterback will be used.
    The active quarterbacks do not have to be injured for a team to use its third quarterback

  20. Nambla Limbaugh says: Nov 28, 2009 10:10 PM

    What a joke. He’s either healthy enough to play or he’s not. And they wonder why everyone calls him this drama queen Big Jen. I hope this is all a smokescreen and he ends up playing the majority of the game.

  21. Chad says: Nov 28, 2009 10:14 PM

    It is Goodell that is up to this–3 concussions in 3 years for Ben equals no mas. I would prefer to see Dennis Dixon anyways, as Bruce Arians has to make a logical gameplan on Offense. Thank God..

  22. Deb says: Nov 28, 2009 10:17 PM

    Mike, you’re kidding, right? It’s not like this is the first time the starting QB has been listed as the emergency QB even though he wasn’t able to start. Come on.
    @jtownflood … It’s one game. If we lose it, we can still wind up 11-5, which could easily be a playoff finish. But I wouldn’t care if we were going to wind up 5-11. I don’t ever want to see the Steelers mailing it in!! Dennis Dixon may be the third-string QB, but he still makes more money than I do, and I expect him to get his butt on the field and earn it.
    So Ben and Troy are out. That sucks. Win anyway!

  23. WashingtonRedstorms says: Nov 28, 2009 10:22 PM

    Call me when they sign Dennis Miller.

  24. red13 says: Nov 28, 2009 10:28 PM

    Laxer37:
    Touche. All the reports I have seen said Ben took all the snaps all week, and didn’t decide he might not play until Friday after practice. Shows what listening to media reports will get ya’.
    But, I still think it will be tough for a guy who’s been the third QB (albeit for two years), and getting very little work in practice all year to be thrust into the starting lineup against Baltimore.

  25. Frank Burns says: Nov 28, 2009 10:39 PM

    TO: All Morons Who Refer to Ben as a “Drama Queen” thus proving they have no concept of what the term means.
    FROM: Your Superior
    Yeah, Ben being out is really a chance to show off, huh Einsteins?
    This is a guy who has to be kept out of games with a crane — so you know if he’s sitting, something’s wrong. Something’s very wrong. And there’s very good reason for him to do so.
    Yeah, Ben’s a “drama queen” when he does things like flies through windshields — yet comes back to play pro football a couple short months later. That almost dying part? Yeah, totally faked it. Uh huh.
    Drama Queen!
    Teresa Suggs, on the other hand, is a guy who takes a little boo boo and DOES milk it for what it’s worth. When you see Ben do what he did — i.e. show up with a cast for a press conference that mysteriously is gone the next day — then talk to me about dramas and queens. THAT my friend is the definition.
    If Ben had called a press conference and shown up with his head bandaged wearing a neck brace — THEN he may be called something akin to what Mr. Suggs is. Do you now get it, Ravens fans? You are THE pot calling the kettle black.
    I’m sure you don’t yet, as you were never the brightest bulbs in the lamps, but hey — this will do as your start.

  26. Frank Burns says: Nov 28, 2009 10:51 PM

    P.S. Just to prove my last point about the lack of brain wattage of certain posters here:
    ———————————————————————–
    Mr Football says:
    November 27, 2009 9:00 PM
    Paging, Frank Burns…
    Paging, Frank Burns….
    Drama Queen at it again.
    Drama Queen at it again.
    If Little Jen plays after this BS he is forever crowned the Drama Queen of the NFL.
    ————————————————————————–
    Let’s see if he shows up to admit his sheer wrongness, you know, like a man would.
    Somehow I doubt it.

  27. Bmore Styles says: Nov 28, 2009 11:09 PM

    @ Frank Burns:
    Suggs has only missed one game his entire career, and has only had two injuries both of which were serious. He played in the AFC Championship game with one arm the entire game!!! He doesn’t stub his toe and feed it to the media the entire week like Ben, even when Tomlin says he’s perfectly fine… something like what happened last season.
    First, you sound like you’re screaming at your computer screen as you type. Second, you’re just making stuff up. You have the biggest drama queen to ever play the game, just accept it.

  28. ppdoc13 says: Nov 28, 2009 11:12 PM

    Well….look who showed up. Frankie Burns (who btw still eats worms.) Where have you been for the last couple of weeks? Tough when your gods are found to be just mortal men.
    Suggs has played in every game in his career up to last week. Played against your Squealers with a separated right shoulder but still managed to take Jen down. And btw, who cares? This blog title was about Jen, not Suggs, but don’t let that stop you.
    You have a very convenient way of disappearing when your team loses only to show up talking trash before the next game and in the case that your team wins. Still haven’t heard you give props to Cincy for beating you a$$ twice in a year.
    When you grow up and learn to win and lose like an adult, then you should start blogging again. Until then, you are a petulant child and should be treated as such. So…. Burnsie… Go to your room, grab your Ben Squealers doll and sit in the corner until we call for you. It should only take a couple of years.

  29. BlitzDorsey says: Nov 28, 2009 11:48 PM

    The Steelers and Ravens both suck.
    Signed,
    The Bengals.

  30. shaslers says: Nov 29, 2009 12:02 AM

    Does this Frank Burns know that Frank Burns was unstable?

  31. SteelerJim says: Nov 29, 2009 12:11 AM

    Ravens fans name calling Ben,
    You’ll be fortunate to not have to face him tomorrow, he’s a tough competitor that has had excellent success against you in recent years. Yes you have sent him to sideline w hits. It’s because you have an excellent hard hitting defense and Ben does not go down easily leaving him vulnerable to hits. Obviously Ben gets hit alot and hurt occassionally because he extends the play better than almost any other QB in the NFL. Consider maybe respectIng the hard play of both teams in the series versus ridiculous name calling w no basis.
    You call him Jen and Drama Queen, because you apparently think he misses a lot of games? But his record as a starter indicates actually what he does a lot of is… Wins.
    I sure wish you’d present facts and debate with statistics and info versus name calling players and those debating you like you’re in a 2nd grader cafeteria. Here’s some numbers to ponder while you try to come up with an insect that rhymes w Jim that you want to say I eat.
    59-22. Missed 7 starts, surgery on knee caused 3 of them, surgery to remove an organ caused 1 of them. Youngest QB to win a ring, 2nd youngest to win 2. 51 wins in his first five seasons are the most by a QB in league history. Apparently he plays quite a few games in between injuries then?  
    ps
    have you ever taken an NFL snap? My guess is if Ben sits tomorrow he’ll still have more NFL games played than you. So respect the players who actually have. I hate the Ravens but love to watch them play football. I respect your coach. I love your city & respect that your city won’t recognize any team named the Colts other than the old Baltimore Colts. I’d love to talk football with anyone who can carry the conversation as an adult.

  32. Agamemnon says: Nov 29, 2009 12:18 AM

    @tcweller
    Speaking for myself, and probably others, you are missing the point. As are, I’m afraid, the many out there referring to Ben as a drama queen. Indeed, he may be a drama queen, but concussions are not to be trifled with, and I think going forward, ALL players may be treated with kid gloves after a concussion.
    But, back to tcweller. The comment I made about Big Ben coming in after the other two QBs are hurt is intentional. Indeed, if the Steelers so desired, they could bring in the big fella, to the loss of the other two, as you have adroitly pointed out. The point here, however, is that Mr. Florio is attempting to bring to discussion the fact that if Big Ben is in danger from his concussion such that he shouldn’t start, then maybe, just maybe, he SHOULDN’T be in the game at all, regardless of the emergency QB status. (I don’t actually disagree with Florio on this one. I think the NFL is going to be seriously careful going forward with concussions.) But, perhaps the Steelers are willing to take the chance that the other two QBs won’t get hurt, and if they are, then Big Ben can go out and hand the ball off a ton and maybe run some quick passes out of the shotgun. This would be a risk that they would only be willing to take if both other QBs are down. It has nothing to do with whether or not the Steelers want to use Ben because Dixon and Jimbronee-off-the-street (okay, practice squad) are inneffectual.
    Or at least, they shouldn’t want to use him in that scenario…

  33. Frank Burns says: Nov 29, 2009 1:44 AM

    ppdork13 says:
    “Well….look who showed up. Frankie Burns (who btw still eats worms.) Where have you been for the last couple of weeks? Tough when your gods are found to be just mortal men.”
    —————————————————————
    Well golly gee, sparky, if you bothered to look you’d see I’ve been around, such as in the “Roethlisberger may sit out Sunday” thread from the other day. But getting your facts straight before shooting off your mouth never was your strong suit, huh?
    As for bringing up Suggs, sorry it has to be done, as Suggs is the measuring stick for drama queen status. Again, when any other player SHOWS UP FOR A PRESS CONFERENCE WEARING A CAST THEN IS SEEN THE NEXT DAY NOT WEARING IT LIKE SUGGS DID BEFORE THE AFC CHAMPIONSHIP — then we can put him in the Drama Queen Hall of Fame along with T Sissy — er uh Sizzle.
    Sorry for the all caps, but like I said, most Ravens fans don’t really grasp things unless you scream it at them repeatedly. (That one’s for you, Styles.)

  34. Frank Burns says: Nov 29, 2009 1:59 AM

    P.S. Shame this had to happen to Ben. We should all be talking about the “Ravens Bitch Bowl” which they got for crying like schoolgirls to the NFL over having to play night games in Pittsburgh (yeah that’s why they lost, huh?). Congratulations to the Ravens, the NFL’s whiniest team, for getting the game you so desperately cried for.

  35. Wrathchild says: Nov 29, 2009 2:05 AM

    Who?

  36. Kevd55steelers says: Nov 29, 2009 2:29 AM

    Hey look…I am a huge Steelers fan….love the rivalry with Baltimore…..but I would sacrifice this game and the season to protect Ben, as much as I dont like him, to preserve the future….injuries are one thing, concussions are terrible no matter what team you love or color you bleed…i wouldn’t wish this injury on anyone

  37. tmb says: Nov 29, 2009 6:07 AM

    Pgh news says that Ben has had some episodes of amnesia and headaches as of Friday

  38. Bwa Ha Ha says: Nov 29, 2009 7:17 AM

    If Ben is listed as a third QB option, the Ravens need to include at least some minimal game planning that include handling him. Like a decoy. That is the reason he is listed as third QB, wasting a bit of planning time for the Ravens.

  39. steeltownpride says: Nov 29, 2009 8:45 AM

    Just dont let a 3rd string qb come into your house and win a very important game . I dont expect the Steelers to win . To many injuries ….. BUT…….. If we do win that speaks alot to this teams heart . GO STEELERS ……….. F U RAVENS

  40. DerekLutz says: Nov 29, 2009 9:07 AM

    The injury to No. 7 may finally force the Steelers to put together some semblance of a running game. Finally get to see what Mendenhall can do with 25 to 30 carries in a game.
    Ah, it’s Arians, he’ll call for Dixon to throw it 40 times.

  41. BuckFigBen says: Nov 29, 2009 9:17 AM

    “Pgh news says that Ben has had some episodes of amnesia and headaches as of Friday”
    Hopefully some of that amnesia included his time with Andrea McNulty

  42. ppdoc13 says: Nov 29, 2009 9:27 AM

    Saw you numerous times congratulating the opposing team for playing a good game. Yes Frank that sure must have been you. I’ll stick by what I said Frank – you are a petulant child who is neither a gracious winner nor a classy loser. In other words – typical what I have come to expect from a Steelers fan. I will say that there were a handful of Yins fans that showed class in the last couple of weeks, but Frankie, your name is not on that list. Grow up little boy. Prove to the rest of the world that you are not just a mishap caused by a broken condom or a defective diaphragm.

  43. J_Dean says: Nov 29, 2009 9:48 AM

    And all the bandwagon, poser, “I’ve never been to Shitsburgh” fans will chalk this up to Fat Boy Ben not being in the game. Give me a break…
    A win is a win and this is the NFL! Quit crying and living in the past. Today is today babies!
    Waaaah! Waaaah! Waaaah!

  44. i'm president charlie! says: Nov 29, 2009 10:41 AM

    Who really cares if Ben is a drama queen? All I really care about is how he plays between the white lines. Ben is a winner, and has two big shiny trophies to show for it. (And I have 2 Super Bowl DVDs, a plethora of memorabilia, and a boatload of awesome memories that will last my entire lifetime.)
    Drama queen or not, I’ll take Ben over any other quarterback in the league to wear the black n’ gold. Name another quarterback that could have won the Super Bowl last year behind that porous offensive line that couldn’t produce a running game….I’ll wait right here for your responses.
    No excuses from me if the Steelers lose tonight. Whether they are a backup or a starter all of the players on the field have NFL skills and abilities and are paid to produce.
    I find it so funny how any story involving the Steelers or Ben gets so many comments. Just shows all the jealousy of other fans around the league and once again reminds me how sweet it is that my favorite team is the still the champs! (once again).
    feels good man.

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