Hillis OK to help Browns rookie QB McCoy vs. Steelers

Browns rookie QB Colt McCoy will make his first NFL start Sunday. The bad news? He’ll face the Steelers’ blitz-crazy defense. The good news? He’ll have bruising RB Peyton Hillis at his disposal.

Hillis had been listed as questionable because of a thigh injury, but he’s active for the AFC North showdown. Hillis leads the Browns with 350 rushing yards this season, and his emergence led the team to trade Jerome Harrison, who had expected to be the starter, to the Eagles earlier in the week.

As expected, QBs Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace are inactive because of ankle injuries, meaning Brett Ratliff is the Browns’ backup behind McCoy. Ratliff was signed off the Patriots’ practice squad, but he knows the Browns’ offense from his previous time in Cleveland.

The Steelers welcome back QB Ben Roethlisberger from his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy, so veteran Charlie Batch is the No. 3 quarterback. Batch started Pittsburgh’s previous two games and played extensively in a third after Dennis Dixon went down with a season-ending knee injury.

Byron Leftwich is the Steelers’ backup QB.

Full inactive lists:

QB Seneca Wallace
QB Jake Delhomme
WR Carlton Mitchell
T Shawn Lauvao
OL John St. Clair
TE Alex Smith
DE Jayme Mitchell
DL Robaire Smith

Charlie Batch (No. 3 QB)
CB Keenan Lewis
RB Jonathan Dwyer
DB Crezdon Butler
T Tony Hills
G Trai Essex
WR Antonio Brown
LB Thaddeus Gibson

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