Former Cardinals pre-season sensation QB Tyler Palko resurfaced recently with the Steelers. Pittsburgh is in bad shape at the position, with starter Roethlisberger out for a crucial division game against the Ravens with a concussion and top-backup Charlie Batch out after undergoing recent wrist surgery.
That leaves Dennis Dixon getting his first start. Palko was originally added to the Pittsburgh practice squad on the 25th, but was promoted to the active roster Friday (the 28th). Why Pittsburgh didn't go after a proven vet like Jeff Garcia is unknown to me, especially on the verge of a game with potential playoff implications. Not enough time for Garcia to get up to speed? Too many horses in the stable? Similarly, it's surprising they didn't grab undrafted rookie QB Mike Reilly from the Packers' practice squad. Reilly actually played for the Steelers in the preseason, so he would have some familiarity with the system. He was 10-of-15 with 0 TD's and 0 INT's and added 23 rushing yards on 6 attempts.
Dixon's body of work has been very limited, as well, and he is generally regarded as an unknown quantity. His preseason performance was steady, though unspectacular, going 18-35 for 180 yards, 0/0 TD/INT, and adding 20 rushing yards on 3 attempts, effectively a repeat performance from 2008. He has one pass attempt during the regular season, a completion for 3 yards in 2008. It would probably take a huge melt-down on Dixon's part, but it's conceivable that Palko could see the field in the coming weeks -- although it doesn't sound like Roethlisberger will be out very long.
To make room for Palko, they released WR Shaun MacDonald.