Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, Let's begin
Sweet Suzie: Does Charlie Batch have a ankle problem??
Ed Bouchette: No, not that I am aware of.
John: Who WOULD have been the 3rd QB on Monday Night Football if Byron Leftwich was injured with Charlie Batch inactive??
Ed Bouchette: Emmanuel Sanders
Steezy: How are Ben's x-rays looking?
Ed Bouchette: MRI. Showed SC right shoulder sprain, but don't know the severeity. Mike Tomlin called him "questionable" for this week but I think you can read into that "out."
kjacksonpgh: Hi Ed, this would be a good week for the Steelers Defense to create some turn overs. Baltimore has been a bit inconstant at times on offense. Think we can win a game that the Steelers could win?
Ed Bouchette: I think you wanted to phrase that last part differently. I've been writing and saying all year that they are producing turnovers at a record low. If any game was one in which they were going to get a few turnovers, it would have been the Chiefs, who are at historical highs in giving the ball away. They had one, although that was a big one, by Lawrence Timmons in overtime.
bmoney: do the steelers ave to beat the ravens twoce to win the north?
Ed Bouchette: If they split, they'll still be a game behind, all else being equal. The Ravens would have to lose one more game than the Steelers down the stretch, and if they finish in a tie, they still might win the AFC North, depending on how the tiebreakers shake out.
Lucas: With the release of Taamu, do the Steelers retain Hampton next year? ... Also, the Chiefs routinely ran the ball to the right side of their line. Were they calling out Ziggy Hood as a weak link?
Ed Bouchette: Maybe that's just their style. ... As for the release of Ta'amu and Hampton's return next season, one is not connected to the other. Ta'amu also could be on the practice squad by the end of the day.
Steeler in VZ: Hello, keep the good work going. Any QB sign on the horizon? Dixon, for example, just for a couple weeks
Ed Bouchette: They really don't need one. The No. 3 doesn't get much practice anyway and he would be on the practice squad if they did sign one.
Guest: I just joined, so someone may have asked this earlier, but the obvious question regarding last nights game: were the Steelers caught looking ahead to Baltimore?
Ed Bouchette: They say no, but it's human nature to say possibly.
kjacksonpgh: Ed, The Steelers could not run on KC, We have never been successful running against Baltimore. I would think we would need to have some success playing our back QB. Do you agree?
Ed Bouchette: I'm not sure what the question is, but the Ravens rank 26th in the NFL against the run. Just saying.
Spike: What's the word on a possible injury to Ben's ribs?
Ed Bouchette: There's a possible injury to Ben's ribs, as reported by Gerry Dulac.
dave k: what caused the implosion? nothing seemed to be working that well
Ed Bouchette: They did not play a good game, overall, but I wouldn't quite call it an implosion, especially since they won their fourth straight.
Stranded in NJ: Hello Ed - this specific injury, the SC Sprain, have any recent players had this? What is the normal timeline for recovery?
Ed Bouchette: I'm learning, like you. It appears there are degrees, just as there are with other sprains, and the degree determines how long. Brett Favre, I believe, had it in 2010.
JamesinNYC: Best player throughout the game Suisham?
Ed Bouchette: No, but again he played his position nearly perfect, especially with the 70-yard kickoff in overtime and going 2-for-2, including the winner.
Sweet Suzie: Don't forget the Chiefs almost beat the ravens too!! 9-6
Ed Bouchette: Losing is what they do best.
JamesinNYC: Who is the starting RB against Ravens?
Ed Bouchette: Would not surprise me if it's Rashard Mendenhall.
Sheff: Do you think we will be able to run the ball against the Ravens? Do you think running successfully is the only way to win the game?
Ed Bouchette: There are all kinds of ways to win games, but running successfully is always a good start.
Tship: Ryan Clark seemed to get his bell rung bigtime, when do we know if he's good for Sunday?
Ed Bouchette: He says he's OK, as do others. He will have to pass all the IMPact tests as he did two weeks ago in order to play.
Guest: If it is a grade 3 sprain, it should take 3-5 months to heal. What then?
Ed Bouchette: He'll get ready for 2013 and the Steelers will get another QB ready to play now. I don't think it's THAT severe.
Sheff: Byron looked rusty in his play. DO you think he can play well with a short week of practice?
Ed Bouchette: It's not really a short week of practice. They don't practice on Monday or Tuesday anyway. He hadn't played in 2 years, hadn't started since Sept. 27, 2009. Hadn't taken snaps with the first team offense since training camp. No surpirse he might have been a little rusty. He's helped them win before.
Todd: ED, Troy is becoming a mystery to much of us in Steeler Nation. Calf injuries do not normally take this long to heal. Is there more to his injury than what has been revealed? Tomlim mentioned that he would start working out lightly last week but that never happened. What gives?
Ed Bouchette: Well, Dr. Todd, I would imagine that the severity of the calf muscle injury might determine how long it "normally" takes. Tomlin did sound more optimistic last week about Polamalu this week than he sounded this week about Polamalu.
Charlie: Is James Harrison's lack of production due to his knee injury or has his ability slipped faster than James Farrior and Joey Porter?
Ed Bouchette: I have to think the knee injury that kept him out for so long is the reason. He's also 34 and linebackers can drop off the table pretty quickly in their mid-30s. He has one sack and six QB pressures, which rank fifth on the team.
InMiami: Outside of the two games to Baltimore, the rest to the season looks very winnable, and given the records of the rest of the AFC, they could lose both to Ravens and still find themselves in 5th in the conference. Agree they should make the playoffs even with Ben out for 3 weeks and two losses to Ravers?
Ed Bouchette: The Chiefs looked very winnable too until they actually played the game. If you can go into overtime at home with Kansas City, you are capable of losing to anyone, including the Cleveland Browns.
Todd: Ed, I am an Orthopedic doctor, amd have seen many of these injuries. that is why I was asking.
Ed Bouchette: that's why I called you Doctor, Doctor.
mikeflores16: At times Ziggy looked good, but for the most part, they ran right at him and had their way, is he just not good against the run?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think he's been confused with Aaron Smith by anyone.
ksogan: What are your thoughts on sylvester?
Ed Bouchette: I really don't have many except that it looks as if his hamstring injury will keep him out again.
louis lipps sinks ships: Are we seeing the end of James Harrison? He's been virtually invisible this season and makes mucho dinero.
Ed Bouchette: It's possible this will be James Harrison's last season here, yes, although that's not exactly breaking news. His production is way down, his injury count up the past few years and he'll be 35 next season. And they didn't draft Jason Worilds in the second round, to use an old quote from Tom Donahoe, to lead the band at halftime.
louis lipps sinks ships: better rb tandem redman/dwyer or abercrombie/pollard?
Ed Bouchette: Harris/Bleier, Bettis and whoever
Dave C: What is the status of antonio brown ?
Ed Bouchette: Has a ankle sprain. Might miss again this week.
Chooch: Who do the Steelers start at RB this week?
Ed Bouchette: Again, would be no surprise if it's Mendenhall.
Charlie: We have all seen 7 play with injuries. Are you willing to "call it" like the National Media and say he is "OUT"?
Ed Bouchette: I believe I've pretty much said that. This is a serious one to his right shoulder.
bmoney: Ben will play. Trust me.
Ed Bouchette: There you have it.
Dave C : dED since Jamahal Charles got 100 yds on the steelers I am a little concerned that the Raven are going to run Ray Rice down our throats. Do You think our defense line can sustain such an attack ?
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers have declined as a run-stopping team over the past two seasons and are nothing like the one from 2008.
Dave C: With a Shoulder Sprain is big Ben going to be able to hold his newborn?
Ed Bouchette: Hey, Mike Wallace made that TD catch without using one of his hands.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks for another great chat. See you next Tuesday.
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