PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger won’t play for the second straight week as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery.

Charlie Batch, who made his first start in four years in a 20-10 victory last Sunday in Green Bay, will go again Sunday night against the Cleveland Browns in Pittsburgh.

After Roethlisberger had surgery last week to remove damaged cartilage from his right knee, coach Bill Cowher said he would be out 10 to 14 days. Now, the Steelers hope he returns for the Nov. 20 game at Baltimore.

Batch was 9-of-16 for 65 yards and was intercepted once against the Packers after previously throwing only eight passes since joining the Steelers in 2002.

“Hopefully, we’ll be more efficient throwing the ball,” Cowher said. “It’s not all on him. We had protection breakdowns at times, but it’s just something we have to get better at. We can’t get through games throwing for 65 yards and thinking we can win week in and week out.”

Batch moved up from No. 3 on the depth chart after former starter Tommy Maddox threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in a 23-17 overtime loss to Jacksonville on Oct. 16, when Roethlisberger was out with an injured left knee. Maddox did not play against Green Bay. Cowher said Tuesday that Batch managed the offense well against the Packers, but the Steelers must throw the ball better against the Browns (3-5). The Steelers (6-2) were outgained 268-213 Sunday despite outrushing the Packers 154-65.

“I’m not going to sit here and scrutinize the play of Charlie Batch,” Cowher said.

“I think offensively as a group we need to do a much more efficient job of throwing the ball.”

Batch’s plight is compounded by injuries at running back. Leading rushers Willie Parker, who injured an ankle Sunday, and Jerome Bettis, whose knee injury kept him out against Green Bay, are listed as questionable against Cleveland.

If neither can play, Duce Staley will get his first start of the season.

“We have been a very resourceful football team,” Cowher said. “Our depth has been challenged a little bit. People have been tested but have stepped in to do the job.”

Middle linebacker James Farrior also is listed as doubtful after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee Sunday.

AP-ES-11-08-05 1609EST


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