NFL

Little-used WR Ryan Switzer is Steelers' emergency QB

Ready or not, Devlin Hodges is taking over as the Steelers starting quarterback.

Following a season-ending injury to Ben Roethlisberger and the subsequent Week 5 loss of a concussed Mason Rudolph, the undrafted rookie out of Samford is stepping in and looking to step up.

However, with the way things have gone for those under center in Pittsburgh, what happens if Hodges finds a similar unfortunate fate?

Well, Paxton Lynch has been promoted from the practice squad and then, in the case of an emergency, the Steelers will break the glass and turn to receiver/special teamer Ryan Switzer.

"No. 10 always handles that," Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said via Triblive.com’s Kevin Gorman. "He always takes snaps before the game. He’ll always have the extra wristband off to the side, that type of thing. He might not be able to do as much. There may be a lot on that wrist band that is never called, but there is a lot that you still could do."

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Thus, in the case of an emergency, the guy taking snaps would be the same player who’s tallied just two offensive snaps over the last three games. At one point during the preseason, Switzer looked in line to be a contributor in the Steelers receiving corps, but he’s tallied just seven catches for 29 yards in five games, six of those catches and all of those yards coming in Week 1.

"I think I got volunteered by Randy himself," said Switzer, perhaps the finest symbol of how shallow the Steelers are on the depth chart at QB. "He said, ‘You’re the emergency QB.’ There was no, can you? It was just, you are."

It’s hard to image the Steelers’ worsening signal-calling situation getting that bad that Switzer would be called on to take on the role, but as he’s been relegated to special teams for the most part, he’s open to anything.

"I would like to get on the field wherever I can fit in," said Switzer, who’s never thrown an NFL pass and threw five in college. "I’d like to be out there. I get in where I can fit in, as many ways as I can help the team."

Perhaps rivaled only by the Jets, the Steelers have been harshly plagued by injuries at quarterback, so, of course anything can happen and Switzer playing quarterback would fall firmly into the anything-can-happen category.

For now, the underdog story of Hodges will begin Sunday night against the Chargers.

Thereafter, it would be Lynch’s latest attempt of making good on first-round potential long forgotten.

Only after that would Switzer take on the task in the most unbelievable of storylines.

"We don’t want anyone to get hurt," he said. "That’s the worst-case scenario type of situation."

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