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Steelers WR Brown likely out against Chiefs

Steelers WR Brown likely out against Chiefs

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Steelers have spent all season juggling running backs based on who's healthy and who's hot.

Now it's the wide receivers' turn.

The Steelers will likely be without receiver Antonio Brown when they host reeling Kansas City next Monday night. Brown sprained his right ankle early in a 24-20 victory over the New York Giants last Sunday and coach Mike Tomlin doesn't anticipate Brown being available.

``We'll see where the week takes us, we'll leave the door ajar but usually (sprained ankles) aren't positive things, particularly for someone who earns a living the way he earns a living,'' Tomlin said.

Brown leads the Steelers (5-3) with 42 receptions and is second on the team with 499 yards receiving. If he can't go, third-year wideout Emmanuel Sanders will likely take Brown's place in the starting lineup.

Sanders caught two passes against the Giants, including a 4-yard touchdown, and added a 63-yard punt return in place of normal return specialists Brown and Chris Rainey, who left the game with a rib injury. Veteran Jerricho Cotchery will move into Sanders' spot as the third receiver.

Cotchery has taken on a smaller role in his second year in Pittsburgh as the trio of Sanders, Brown and Mike Wallace matured, but Cotchery tied for a team-high four receptions against New York, doubling his season total.

``He's not a luxury (but) a necessity,'' Tomlin said of Cotchery. ``We need quality guys that are capable of upholding the standard ... he's been consistently professional and prepared. When one of three guys at the wide out position go down, we don't bat an eye.''

Safety Troy Polamalu and right tackle Marcus Gilbert have already been ruled out against Kansas City, though Tomlin believes both can practice this week in a limited capacity. Polamalu played in just two games this season due to a right calf injury while Gilbert has missed a month.

The typically tight-lipped Tomlin is pleased with his team's progress during its current three-game winning streak. The Steelers have gotten consistent performance out of the running game regardless of who is in the backfield.

Isaac Redman rushed for a career-high 147 yards against the Giants in place of Jonathan Dwyer, who sat out with a strained right quad. Dwyer had topped 100 yards in the previous two games while filling in for both Redman and Rashard Mendenhall.

There's a possibility all three backs could be ready against Kansas City, leaving Tomlin with a difficult choice, one he's not willing to make just yet.

``Whoever's being productive when healthy is going to get the totes,'' Tomlin said. ``I really think it's that simple. I'm not going to make it any more complex than it has to be. At times this season we've had a running-back-by-committee approach because none of them had been overly effective at that time.

``When someone's effective, they'll get the ball.''

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: What does the future hold?

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: What does the future hold?

In this week's mailbag podcast, JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir answer several questions about the Caps' prospects and Hershey.

How does the future look on the farm? Plus, they talk about potential weaknesses, their biggest surprises and more!

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Need to Know: The best quarterbacks the Redskins will face in 2018

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Need to Know: The best quarterbacks the Redskins will face in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, July 16, 10 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The five best quarterbacks the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the quarterbacks are up. They are roughly ranked by Football Outsiders’ DVOA, although I did some juggling based on offseason moves and other factors. 

Aaron Rodgers, Packers—An injury-plagued 2017 season actually pushed Rodgers near the middle of the pack in DVOA. But we know better than that. We have every expectation that he will be back throwing for around 4,000 yards, 35 touchdowns, and a half-dozen or so miracle comebacks. The Redskins had better hope they have a big lead late in their Week 3 game. 

Drew Brees, Saints—The last time Brees failed to pass for over 4,000 yards in a season we were in the first year of the second term of George W. Bush and Joe Gibbs was in the second year of his comeback stint with the Redskins. Brees gives the Saints a chance in every game and nearly every situation (as the Redskins found out in New Orleans last season. 

Matt Ryan, Falcons—The first $30 million man in NFL history is everything you want in a quarterback. He’s productive, with at least 4,000 passing yards every season since 2011. Ryan also is durable; he hasn’t missed a game this decade. The only thing he is missing is a ring but he didn’t call passes when the Falcons were set up for a clinching field goal and he wasn’t on the field when Tom Brady shredded the Falcons defense in the fourth quarter. 

Carson Wentz, Eagles—The Redskins experienced their share of frustration in trying to deal with Wentz last year. They weren’t the only ones as Wentz was a prime MVP candidate before he missed the last three games and the playoffs with a torn ACL. I am not buying into the notion that there will be any quarterback controversy in Philly. When Wentz is healthy, Nick Foles will step aside. 

Deshaun Watson, Texans—Perhaps the hype train was getting a little bit out of hand for the rookie last year. After all, the Texans were 3-3 in his six starts and he was on pace to throw 21 interceptions. Still, he should be a good one. His mobility is a huge asset and we have seen the problems that the Redskins have had dealing with quarterbacks who can scramble in the pocket and take off and run. 

Best of the rest: Cam Newton, Panthers; Jameis Winston, Bucs; Marcus Mariota, Titans; Dak Prescott, Cowboys; Andrew Luck, Colts (if healthy)

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline 

Former Redskins kicker Chip Lohmiller, who outscored the entire Baltimore Colts team in the 1991 season, was born on this date in 1966.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 10
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 24
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 47

The Redskins last played a game 197 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 55 days. 

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