Monday Notebook:

With a game Thursday, the Steelers are on a short week. Plenty of work was accomplished Monday:

PITTSBURGH – Byron Leftwich underwent surgery on his broken upper left arm Monday afternoon but Steelers coach Mike Tomlin didn't discuss the prognosis for Leftwich's recovery or whether he'll be placed on injured reserve for the season.

"We're going to wait till he comes out of surgery and let it calm down for a couple days before we get to that determination," said Tomlin.

With Leftwich out, Tomlin must choose between Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon as the Steelers' No. 2 quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger.

"We're determining that," Tomlin said. "It's part of what we're doing here today. Obviously we're giving Charlie and Dennis a lot of work. Didn't give Ben much work today and that'll probably be how it shakes out in the game (Thursday)."

Sitting out of Monday's practice – less than 48 hours after Saturday night's game – were a stable of players with minor injuries: Troy Polamalu (quad), Maurkice Pouncey (ankle), Chris Carter (hamstring), Casey Hampton (elbow), James Farrior (abdomen) and Hines Ward (quad).


Emmanuel Sanders practiced for the first time this preseason and he hopes his foot responds well enough to play in Thursday night's preseason finale in Carolina.

Sanders, of course, broke his foot in the Super Bowl and then required a second surgery later when the bone failed to heal. Sanders said he's healthy and that he's not rushing his return in response to Antonio Brown's spectacular performance this August and the acquisition of Jerricho Cotchery.

Both players most likely have pushed Sanders, the second-year receiver, down in the positional pecking order.

"God has a plan for me," said Sanders. "I'm not stressing about anything. It's all going to work itself out."


Trai Essex said he worked as the first-team center at Monday's practice, next to right guard Doug Legursky. Essex believes he and Legursky will play those positions on the first-team line Thursday night.

"It went pretty good," Essex said. "It's not natural yet, but I actually had a pretty decent day today, with the exception of one snap."

Essex worked at center before last season's Super Bowl as a backup to Legursky, who filled in for the injured Pouncey. It gives Essex six-position capability, including goal-line tight end.

"I'm at a pretty good weight right now, but I still want to shed a few more pounds," he said. "My conditioning level is actually pretty good. I surprised myself the other night with only a few practices under my belt."


Mike Wallace caught 60 passes last season and was fifth in the NFL with 1,257 yards. His stated goal this season is to gain 2,000 receiving yards, so he's happy the preseason stats don't count because in three games Wallace has only 2 receptions for 9 yards.

Where's he been?

"Chillin'," he said.

One the field or on the sideline?

"I feel like I've been on the sideline," he said. "But I've been in the game getting my normal reps."

Is he asking for the ball in the huddle?

"I don't say nothing," Wallace said. "I just go out there and play my role. I'm cool. It'll come when it's time."

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