Batch on IR; Steelers sign vet

PITTSBURGH - The Steelers lost one of their most experienced quarterbacks for the season, when the team placed Charlie Batch on the reserved/injured list today following knee surgery.

PITTSBURGH - The Steelers placed back-up quarterback Charlie Batch on injured reserve after he underwent season-ending arthroscopic knee surgery Friday morning.

Batch, in his seventh season, had been bothered by soreness in the knee and "a loose body" was found after he'd undergone an MRI on Thursday.

The Steelers signed veteran quarterback Kurt Kittner to replace Batch on the roster. Kittner (6-2, 221) is a third-year veteran from Illinois who's spent the past two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.

With the Falcons, Kittner completed 44 of 114 passes for 391 yards and two touchdowns with six interceptions last season. He started four games last year and played in seven. He did not play any games in 2002.

Kittner will be with the Steelers in Detroit for the preseason opener. He will wear number 11.

For Batch, who's in the last year of his contract, the injury likely marks the end of his Steelers career. He's been with the team since 2002 and played in three games last season.

A native of nearby Homestead, Batch completed 4 of 8 passes last season for 47 yards

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