- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 5, 2008

From combined dispatches

Byron Leftwich already has shown the Pittsburgh Steelers he can finish. He may get the chance Sunday to prove he can start.

With starter Ben Roethlisberger’s status for Sunday’s game against the Colts uncertain because of his reinjured right shoulder, the Steelers (6-2) may give Leftwich his first start since last Nov. 18 with Atlanta.

Roethlisberger underwent an MRI exam Tuesday, but the Steelers did not immediately release the results. He reinjured his separated right shoulder on a quarterback sneak near the end of the second quarter Monday night.

Leftwich took over to set up a touchdown with a long completion on his first throw, threw for a score and led another TD drive during a 23-6 win in Washington.

Leftwich’s stat line for a short but productive night’s work: 7-for-10 for 129 yards, no interceptions and one satisfied locker room as the Steelers preserved their AFC North lead.

“He made a lot of friends in there,” coach Mike Tomlin said.

LIONS: Daunte Culpepper passed his physical and signed with Detroit - and could be ready to play Sunday against Jacksonville.

The 31-year-old Culpepper, who earlier this season had announced his retirement after failing to find a team that fit his needs, signed a two-year deal with the winless Lions (0-8).

RAMS: St. Louis placed wide receiver Drew Bennett and wide receiver/kick returner Dante Hall on injured reserve.

Bennett broke his leg in the first quarter of the season opener and struggled in rehab efforts. Hall sustained a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s 34-13 loss to the Cardinals.

Concerns about depth at running back moved the Rams to sign free agent Samkon Gado, who played for Houston and Miami last year.

BENGALS: Cincinnati was given a one-week roster exemption for linebacker Darryl Blackstock, who was suspended the last four games for using a nutritional supplement that contained a substance banned by the NFL.

Blackstock is allowed to participate in meetings and practices this week - the team’s off week - without counting toward the 53-man roster. They would have to open a roster spot for him by next Monday if they want him to play against Philadelphia on Nov. 16.

Blackstock played in the first five games and had four tackles on defense.


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