ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders' season was derailed last year as soon as star quarterback Derek Carr went down with a broken leg in the second-to-last game of the regular season.
The Raiders' ability to survive with E.J. Manuel under center instead of Carr this year will determine whether they will still be in playoff contention after he returns from a back injury that could sideline him between two and six weeks.
One big difference is the Raiders have a more capable backup in Manuel this season after Matt McGloin and Connor Cook were unable to get anything going in a regular-season loss last year at Denver that cost Oakland the division title and then a playoff loss in Houston.
Manuel, a first-round pick by Buffalo in 2013, comes in with more talent and experience than those two and showed signs in the second half of last week's 16-10 loss at Denver that he might be able to move the offense when the Raiders (2-2) host Baltimore on Sunday in the first of three straight home games.
"E.J. is a star in this league," receiver Cordarrelle Patterson said Tuesday. "He's played for a long time and got drafted high in the first round for a reason. We all know what E.J. can do. We're not impressed with the things he did on Sunday. We've seen that each and every day in practice. When the time comes, we know he's ready with all the work he's put in and the extra time. That's what quarterbacks do" (see full story).
Steelers: Team wants Brown to quiet sideline antics
PITTSBURGH -- Mike Tomlin understands Antonio Brown's competitiveness is what helps make Brown one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
The Pittsburgh Steelers coach just wishes his star would do a better job of channeling it properly when things don't go Brown's way.
Tomlin mildly chastised Brown for a brief sideline eruption during last Sunday's 26-9 victory over Baltimore.
Brown took his frustrations out on a water cooler after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger failed to see Brown running free down the sideline in the second quarter. Roethlisberger instead threw an incomplete pass intended for Le'Veon Bell.
Tomlin didn't see Brown's initial outburst and while he gets Brown's anger, he'd prefer Brown find more productive ways to work through it.
"AB is a competitor," Tomlin said Tuesday. "He has to control it. If he doesn't it can work against him and it can work against us. .. It doesn't need to happen. It shouldn't happen" (see full story).
Bears: Trevathan suspension reduced to 1 game
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The NFL has reduced Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan's suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams from two games to one.
The league announced the change on Tuesday.
Adams was taken off the field on a stretcher in the third quarter Thursday night after getting hit in the head during a tackle by Trevathan. The game was delayed for about 5 minutes while medical personnel tended to Adams. He tweeted Friday that he was at home and "feeling great."
Trevathan was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty following Adams' 8-yard catch but was not ejected. He is eligible to return following Chicago's game against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.
Titans: Weeden signed with Mariota ailing
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans are adding Brandon Weeden to the roster as a third quarterback with Marcus Mariota recovering from a strained hamstring.
The Titans announced the move Tuesday. Coach Mike Mularkey says Mariota is day to day after hurting his hamstring in a 57-14 loss to the Texans.
Matt Cassel is Mariota's backup, and now the Titans (2-2) have someone in Weeden who has started 25 of his 34 NFL games. The 22nd pick overall in 2012, Weeden has started for Cleveland, Dallas and Houston; the Texans released him Sept. 2 in their final cuts. The 6-foot-3 Weeden has thrown for 6,452 yards with 31 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.
The Titans, who visit Miami (1-2) on Sunday, also waived linebacker Josh Carraway and swapped wide receiver C.J. Board onto the practice squad with cornerback Kenneth Durden released.