NFL notebook

Steelers are a bit banged-up

Three players are concussed

Associated Press / November 10, 2010

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Steelers safety Will Allen and running backs Mewelde Moore and Isaac Redman sustained concussions during Monday night’s game in Cincinnati and must pass post-concussion tests before being cleared to play Sunday against the Patriots.

The tests measure a player’s cognitive skills before and after a concussion. A player is allowed to return only after his tests return to normal and he shows no signs of having had a concussion.

If either Moore or Redman can’t play, rookie Jonathan Dwyer might be needed Sunday night against New England (6-2).

The Steelers (6-2) had numerous injuries during their 27-21 victory in Cincinnati, with left guard Chris Kemoeatu’s sprained right knee apparently the most serious. He could be limited in practice.

“We’ll see if we can get him going, get him enough snaps in preparation to be available to us,’’ coach Mike Tomlin said yesterday.

Kemoeatu’s injury, plus those to center Maurkice Pouncey (bruised right leg) and left tackle Max Starks (neck, shoulder), forced the Steelers to shuffle their offensive line from series to series against the Bengals.

Doug Legursky played guard and center before Pouncey returned. Starks left the game during the second half and didn’t return. Jonathan Scott, normally a tackle, played that position and guard.

Pouncey, the Steelers’ first-round draft pick, had not missed a snap all season until he was hurt while apparently being kicked in the shin. Pouncey makes all the offensive line’s blocking calls, so having him out of the game could have proven disruptive. He felt better after getting a painkiller and was able to resume playing.

“There was a time that we thought [tight end] Matt Spaeth was going to have to play right tackle for us,’’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “Guys answered the bell.’’

Defensive end Brett Keisel (left hamstring) played limited snaps in his first game since Oct. 17, while tight end Heath Miller has fluid on a knee.

Ochocinco frustrated
Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco vented his frustration as Monday night’s game went along and he was shut down by the Steelers, exchanging words with quarterback Carson Palmer and coach Marvin Lewis.

Lewis yanked him from the game briefly to help him cool down. Ochocinco finished with only one catch, while equally controversial receiver Terrell Owens had 10 catches and two more touchdowns.

“Yeah, he was upset,’’ Lewis said. “But we’ve got to play football. If he’s not going to get it done right, he’s got to come take an opportunity to freshen up his mind and get right back in the game.’’

The loss dropped the defending AFC North champions to 2-6.

“It’s been like that all year,’’ Ochocinco said. “Teams are taking me away. It’s very frustrating. They’re not allowing me to be available to help this team out. I was emotional, but in no way did it affect what we were doing out there on the field.’’

Garrett weighs in
Jason Garrett had his first news conference as interim coach of the 1-7 Cowboys. “I believe you give yourself the best chance of winning by focusing on doing things the right way each and every day,’’ he said. “We’re going to emphasize that in meetings, in walkthroughs on the practice field and hopefully take that to the game field on Sunday.’’ . . . On his weekly radio appearance, Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb said it’s “hilarious’’ to think that he doesn’t know the team’s playbook or that he has trouble calling plays in the huddle. The six-time Pro Bowler spent most of his time on the radio trying to downplay the fallout from his benching in the final minutes of a loss to the Lions. Not surprisingly, McNabb said he was tired of the whole thing. “It’s over to me, and I just look to move on,’’ he said . . . Veteran kicker Dave Rayner signed with the Lions, two days after Jason Hanson hurt his right knee in a 23-20 overtime loss to the Jets . . . As expected, the Jaguars signed ex-Patriots cornerback Terrence Wheatley. Jacksonville also released quarterback Todd Bouman.

A counterproposal
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the players’ union has made its counterproposal to the owners’ plan for an 18-game regular season. “We continue to have dialogue,’’ he said. “I think that’s a positive thing.’’ The next meeting between the NFLPA and the owners is December in Dallas . . . The NFL shared what it told players months ago about illegal hits and how the disciplinary process works. The league released an 11-page guide that details some rules and includes black-and-white drawings of players delivering hits that aren’t allowed. Asked why the league distributed the information, spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an e-mail: “Because fans and media have been discussing these rules quite a bit in the past few weeks.’’

Deal for Edwards?
Prosecutors say they are discussing the possibility of a plea deal in Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards’ drunken-driving case, but it’s not yet clear whether anything will result. Edwards said nothing during a brief appearance in a Manhattan court. Prosecutors say Edwards had a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit after being pulled over in September. He was already on probation after pleading no contest to aggravated disorderly conduct in a dustup outside a Cleveland nightclub . . . Ravens running back Ray Rice received a warning for the tinting on his windows and signed an autograph for a police officer. He insists that’s the order in which those events occurred Monday night, contrary to a misleading post he put on his Twitter account. Owings Mills, Md., police are conducting a preliminary investigation. The officer has not been disciplined.

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