Roethlisberger leads Steelers over Redskins
Coach says Newton’s OK, will face 49ers on Sunday
Ben Roethlisberger recovered his own fumble at a pivotal moment and didn’t look back, throwing three touchdown passes to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 38-16 victory over the Washington Redskins on Monday night.
Roethlisberger completed 27 of 37 passes for 300 yards, including two touchdowns to All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown and another to Eli Rogers. Often playing on the opposite side from Josh Norman and tormenting cornerback Bashaud Breeland, Brown made eight catches for 126 yards.
Starting in place of the suspended Le’Veon Bell, DeAngelo Williams ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.
Washington led 6-0 and appeared to have another scoring opportunity late in the first quarter when linebacker Ryan Kerrigan sacked and stripped Roethlisberger deep in Pittsburgh territory. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey knocked the ball out of Kerrigan’s hands, and Roethlisberger dived on it at his own13-yard line.
Roethlisberger then guided Pittsburgh 87 yards down the field, finishing the drive with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Brown on a gutsy fourth-and-1 call from the Washington 29. The next time he got the ball, Roethlisberger took the Steelers 67 yards on 14 plays to make it 14-6.
Pittsburgh’s passing attack got clicking, but Kirk Cousins and the Redskins couldn’t keep up. With Matt Jones and the running game grounded and tight end Jordan Reed taken out of the picture, Cousins finished 30 of 43 for 329 yards and two interceptions.
Washington got it as close as 24-16 on Chris Thompson’s fourth-quarter touchdown. Then Roethlisberger was at it again, taking the Steelers 77 yards as Williams put the game away with a 15-yard touchdown run to break the 30-point mark. Rivera expects Newton to play: Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he fully expects Cam Newton to play this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, despite taking at least four helmet-to-helmet hits in a Week 1 loss to the Denver Broncos.
Rivera said that while Newton’s body is sore, his head is fine.
“He’s tough, he’s resilient and he’s moving around pretty good,” Rivera said Monday, reiterating that his quarterback has passed a number of concussion tests.
Newton made a brief appearance in the Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams crosses into the end zone as Washington defensive back David Bruton watches from the turf during the second half of Monday night’s game in Landover. Pittsburgh defeated Washington, 38-16. locker room, but did not answer questions. He’s expected to address the media Wednesday.
The NFL and the Players Association are both looking into whether more should have been done when Newton took a shot to the head in the final minute of the game from Denver safety Darian Stewart.
The NFL released a statement Friday saying there was communication between medical personnel on the Carolina sideline, including an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant, and two independent certified athletic trainer-spotters in the booth. They ultimately concluded there were no indications of a concussion.
Rivera said he is fully confident that the Panthers medical staff handled the situation properly and understands the concussion protocol. Rivera pointed out that the Panthers held out their top defensive player, middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, for three games last season because of a concussion.
The NFL will review all of the Week 1 games and will hand out fines later in the week. Rivera has sent in “a number of plays” into the league for review. Seahawks’ Wilson has ankle sprain: Seattle coach Pete Carroll believes quarterback Russell Wilson will be able to play in Week 2 against Los Angeles despite suffering a sprained ankle in the opener against Miami.
Speaking on his weekly radio show on KIRO-AM on Monday, Carroll said Wilson has been diagnosed with a sprained ankle. Carroll said both X-rays and an MRI came back clear, but there is some swelling. Broncos’ Marshall loses another endorsement: Evaporating endorsements and burning T-shirts won’t deter Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall from continuing to kneel during the national anthem in support of Colin Kaepernick’s protest of social injustices.
“Yes, I will kneel again on Sunday,” said Marshall, who will meet with Denver police Chief Robert White on Tuesday to discuss better treatment of minorities.
“It should create some good dialogue,” Marshall said Monday after an endorsement from internet provider CenturyLink over his stance and learning a fan had burned a T-shirt outside team headquarters in protest of Marshall’s anthem kneeldown. Chargers put Allen on IR, activate Bosa: San Diego placed wide receiver Keenan Allen on season-ending injured reserve with what’s believed to be a torn ACL in his right knee, and activated rookie Joey Bosa a day after a stunning loss at Kansas City.
Allen injured his right knee in the first half of Sunday’s 33-27 loss in which the Chargers blew a 21-point, third-quarter lead.
Bosa has been on the roster-exempt list. He missed all of training camp in a nasty contract dispute and then tweaked a hamstring last week.