Steelers give Burress another chance

The Pittsburgh Steelers have brought back Plaxico Burress, signing the veteran wide receiver in the wake of an injury to Jerricho Cotchery.

Burress was brought in for a workout when the Steelers learned Cotchery would be sidelined after suffering multiple rib fractures in last Sunday's game against Baltimore.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, at his Tuesday press conference, said Burress was "in really good physical condition."

Burress spent the first five years of his career with the Steelers, but was unable to find a team this past offseason after playing the 2011 campaign with the New York Jets. He missed two years while serving a 20-month prison sentence for a 2008 gun charge in New York City.

Despite the prolonged absence, the 35-year-old Michigan State product had a solid 2011 season with 45 receptions for 612 yards with eight touchdowns in 16 games.

Pittsburgh selected Burress with the eighth overall pick of the 2000 draft and he had a pair of 1,000-yard seasons during his first go-round in the Steel City. He then spent four seasons with the Giants, adding two more 1,000-yard seasons while also helping New York win a Super Bowl title.

Burress caught the winning touchdown pass in the Giants' Super Bowl victory over New England after the 2007 season. He was still with the Giants in 2008 when he took a loaded gun into a New York City nightclub and it accidentally went off, shooting himself in the thigh.

In 10 NFL seasons, Burress has caught 550 passes for 8,457 yards with 63 touchdowns.

The Steelers, with quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich ailing, also signed Brian Hoyer to back up Charlie Batch for this Sunday's game against Cleveland.

Hoyer appeared in 13 games for the New England Patriots over the past three seasons, but was released by the club in August.

Roethlisberger is expected to miss his second straight game because of rib and shoulder injuries, while Leftwich, suffered a rib fracture during this past Sunday's game against Baltimore and will not be available Sunday.

The Steelers released running back Barron Batch and linebacker Marshall McFadden to open a pair of roster spots.