Oaklands QB Carson Palmer returns to face his old team - Bengals. (US Presswire)

Steelers QB Byron Leftwich has two broken ribs and an injured shoulder after taking over for injured starter Ben Roethlisberger in the second half two games ago, according to several national reports, including Jason La Canfora from CBSSports.com.

Leftwich reportedly hurt the shoulder against the Kansas City Chiefs last week and suffered the broken ribs against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday night at Heinz Field. If Leftwich can't play at Cleveland Sunday, Charlie Batch, 37, will get the start, and the Steelers likely will sign a backup since Roethlisberger isn't likely to come back any time soon.

None of those players was made available Monday afternoon by the Steelers, but cornerback Keenan Lewis spoke about the team's situation and Leftwich's pain tolerance.

"He knows that's just football,'' Lewis said. "He's been playing the game for quite some time now, and playing in pain is part of this business. He knows that, and he's got to be ready to go. I don't really know if he's going to play or not, but I know he can play with pain. He's been in the league a long time, and he's had plenty of time at quarterback. So, I'll be glad to see him out there.

"(If he can't play), Charlie's a great quarterback, and he's also been in the league for some time now. He knows the offense upside down (inside out), so if we have to rely on Charlie we know he could get in there and win games. He showed that when he's had the opportunity to play (5-2 as a starter). So, we'll rally behind whoever is the (quarterback).''

Some names being bantered about on Twitter include Jerrod Johnson, the former Texas A&M quarterback who was in the Steelers training camp this year; former Pitt quarterback Tyler Palko, who was with the Steelers in 2009 and played for offensive coordinator Todd Haley in Kansas City; and former Jaguars quarterback David Garrard.

Johnson was asked on Twitter about his status and offered this response. "I have been getting asked this all day,'' Johnson Tweeted. "I have yet to be contacted by the Steelers to come back.''

Palko, a Pittsburgh-area native, is out of the league and has begun a career as a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual in the Pittsburgh area. Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley offered this thought on Twitter Monday afternoon.

"So @JasonLaCanfora saying byron might be out. what would yall think if we got @donovanjmcnabb?" Woodley Tweeted.

That's the least likely scenario, Lewis noted that in the end it really doesn't matter who is at the controls for the Steelers offense.

"Injuries are just a part of football,'' Lewis said. "You're always going to lose guys, especially in the National Football League, because the play is so physical. Coach Tomlin always says it has to be the next man up, so we're doing a pretty good job of substituting, and I'm pretty sure we can keep it up.

"(But) everybody's pretty positive, because we've got to move forward. As a team, we can't get down after just one game, even though it was a significant game. We just have to keep pushing through this, because we have more games to come. (And) we have to do what we can as a defense.''

If Lewis and his teammates check out the standings, it shows the Steelers (6-4) are two games behind the Ravens (8-2) in the AFC North with a division game at Cleveland Sunday afternoon.

"It's really important, as a division game, and those guys have been playing extremely hard even though their record isn't that good,'' Lewis said. "But we know they're going to be ready for us. They always give us a good game, so we have to be ready and prepared for them, too.

"We don't really talk about being behind the Ravens or anything like that. We know where we are, and we know we can't get too far in the division behind those guys. We have to try to win the division, because that will help us in the playoff race. We know that, so we have to win out.''

The Steelers might have to do that with Batch, their No. 3 quarterback, running the offense.

Follow Dale Grdnic on Twitter for real-time Steelers' updates @CBSSteelers.