The 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 the reeling Chiefs Monday night. Brown sprained his right ankle in a 24-20 victory over the 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 receiving yards. 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 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.
Jones: My job is safe
Jerry Jones, the general manager, will never relinquish that title with the Dallas Cowboys. Much like Jerry Jones, the owner, will never sell the team. Speaking during his weekly radio show, Jones said there was no chance he would step down as GM.
“We are not structured that way,” Jones told KRLD-FM. “We didn’t structure it that way with my ownership. There’s no way that I would be involved here and not be the final decision-maker on something as important as players, and that is a key area. That’s never been anybody’s misunderstanding. It’s been a debated thing, but it’s just not going to happen.”
The Cowboys are 3-5 heading into Sunday’s game at Philadelphia.
Eagles still scuffling
Jeffrey Lurie put Andy Reid on the clock with a preseason decree that mediocrity was no longer acceptable.
With each grim defeat, the harsh reality becomes clear. If Lurie, the Eagles owner, remains true to his word, Reid will out of a job if Philadelphia continues to trudge through this season without a winning record or much hope for the future.
The Eagles dropped to 3-5 after a 28-13 loss to New Orleans on Monday night, their fourth consecutive loss. And the struggles are on both sides of the ball.
Reid fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo last month and the unit has only gotten worse. While Reid reaffirmed his commitment to Michael Vick on Tuesday, the former dynamic quarterback is no longer the scrambling standout he once was.
Reid said he can’t worry about Lurie’s win-or-else ultimatum.
‘‘There is no time to think about those things,’’ Reid said. ‘‘The guys are worrying about getting themselves better to win football games. That’s No. 1. That’s where I sit.’’
Now that Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has returned to work, the team needs his crisis-management skills to be sharp. The organization continues to be rife with unsettled issues, some of which have made its fan base uneasy.
So there was no time for Loomis to ease back into a routine Tuesday after serving his eight-game suspension in connection with the NFL’s bounty probe of the Saints.
His immediate tasks include clearing up the status of Sean Payton’s contract extension through 2015, which NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has so far refused to approve since the coach signed it in 2011.
Recent revelations that Payton is still not officially under contract beyond this season have only pushed anxiety-ridden Saints fans closer to panic.
New Orleans has struggled while Payton has served his season-long bounty suspension, which, in the minds of many, has only strengthened the fiery and innovative coach’s value.
Loomis also will have to oversee contingency plans in the event that defensive end Will Smith and linebacker Jonathan Vilma have to serve their own bounty suspensions, which so far have been delayed by legal moves.
Cardinals’ Schofield out
The Cardinals lost starting outside linebacker O’Brien Schofield for the season with an injured left ankle. He was injured in Sunday’s 31-17 loss at Green Bay. Schofield, a fourth-round draft pick out of Wisconsin in 2010, has 34 tackles and four sacks this season . . . Bears receiver Johnny Knox will remain on the physically-unable-to-perform list and will miss the entire season because of a back injury . . . The Falcons placed offensive guard Garrett Reynolds on injured reserve with a lower back injury. The team signed guard Phillip Keith Manley to the active roster. Reynolds started six games this season before missing the last two games. Rookie Peter Konz moved up as the starter as the Falcons (8-0) remained the NFL’s only unbeaten team . . . The Raiders added linebacker Aaron Curry to the team’s active roster. Curry (knees) was taken off the physically unable to perform list Tuesday. Linebacker Vic So’oto was waived . . . The Titans decided to keep safety Markelle Martin on the physically-unable-to-perform list for the rest of the season after the rookie practiced with the team the past three weeks . . . Former NFL receiver David Boston could face nearly three years in prison for punching a woman last year. Palm Beach County (Fla.) prosecutors say Boston, 34, pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated battery. He faces up to 35 months in prison.