September 4, 2013

NFL Notebook: Steelers starting back aims to stay healthy

The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH - Isaac Redman could do the math.

Nearing the final cuts Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers' fifth-year running back looked at the crowded depth chart and figured somebody's feelings were going to get hurt.

"I know that somebody had to go," Redman said. "After being around here for a while, you understand how it goes and I knew somebody had to go this year."

And despite missing the final two games of the preseason while recovering from a neck injury, it wasn't Redman.

Instead the Steelers cut Jonathan Dwyer -- the team's leading rusher in 2012 -- and handed Redman the starting job for the season opener against Tennessee on Sunday while second-round pick Le'Veon Bell works his way back from a sprained right foot.

"We know what Isaac is capable of," Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday. "He's answered the bell for us in the past and we expect him to do it in a big way moving forward starting this weekend."

When healthy, Redman can be a force. He ran for 410 yards and two scores last year, and played well in a 26-23 loss to the Titans, catching four passes for 105 yards. Ankle problems, however, kept Redman from establishing himself as the starter. He rumbled for 147 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Giants but went back to the sideline after getting knicked up again.

Redman slimmed down to 230 pounds over the winter, believing more quickness would also make him more durable. That part remains to be seen. Redman sustained a stinger during training camp and carried the ball two times in the preseason.

 

SAINTS: New Orleans brought back receiver Robert Meachem, shortly after his release by the San Diego Chargers.

Meachem was the Saints' first-round draft choice in 2007 and left for San Diego as a free agent last season.

 

COLTS-COWBOYS: Dallas acquired defensive end Caesar Rayford from Indianapolis for an undisclosed draft pick to Indianapolis.

 

BROWNS: Cleveland reached agreement on a contract with former Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff, who has just a few days to prepare for the opener.

Cundiff, who previously kicked for Cleveland, auditioned Tuesday for the Browns, who terminated veteran Shayne Graham's contract and released rookie Brandon Bogotay.

Cundiff made all six field-goal tries for the Browns in 2009, when he filled in for an injured Phil Dawson. Cundiff was cut last month by the Jets.

 

TEXANS: Linebacker Brian Cushing signed a six-year contract extension.

The deal is worth $55.6 million with $21 million guaranteed.

 

BILLS: Kicker Dan Carpenter signed with Buffalo a day after rookie kicker Dustin Hopkins was hurt in practice.

 

CHIEFS: Kansas City placed rookie safety Sanders Commings on injured reserve and signed Bradley McDougald to replace him on the roster.

DOLPHINS: Former first-round draft pick Danny Watkins signed a $555,000, one-year contract with Miami after being cut by Philadelphia.

Watkins, a guard, spent two seasons with the Eagles and started 18 games before losing his job early last year. He was a surprise choice with the 23rd overall selection at age 26 when the Eagles made him the oldest first-round pick at that time since 1980.

 

BUCCANEERS: Tampa Bay placed cornerback Danny Gorrer on the injured reserve/designated for return list and re-signed defensive tackle Gary Gibson.

 

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