WASHINGTON — The possibility of bringing in Colin Kaepernick for a tryout was “discussed” by quarterback-needy Washington, according to Coach Jay Gruden, who said Tuesday the team made a “strictly football” decision to look elsewhere.

“Isn’t it obvious what the real reason is?” Kaepernick’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance, hasn’t played since the 2016 season, when he began kneeling during the national anthem as a way to protest police brutality, and social and racial injustice. He filed a grievance against the NFL last year, saying team owners colluded to keep him off rosters.

Gruden told reporters that there would have been “a greater possibility” of considering Kaepernick for a roster spot if the team were in need of a quarterback in Week 1 rather than at this stage of the season.

“Not a lot of time to really get a brand-new quarterback and new system installed, and taught in a couple of days of practice,” Gruden said. “So he’s been talked about and discussed, but we’ll probably go a different direction.”

Added Gruden: “You want to have somebody with a similar skillset to the quarterback you have. Not that Colin can’t do some of the things that I’m talking about, but somebody with a little bit of familiarity.”

Washington quarterback Colt McCoy had surgery Tuesday after fracturing his right fibula in a 28-13 loss at the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. McCoy had replaced Alex Smith as the starting quarterback after Smith broke his right leg in a game last month and was ruled out for the season.

Gruden said McCoy would not go on injured reserve immediately because there is a slight chance he might be able to return to action by Week 17.

Now Washington (6-6) will turn to Mark Sanchez, who starts at quarterback next Sunday against the visiting New York Giants (4-8).

STEELERS: Pittsburgh will head to Oakland without running back James Conner, who is dealing with a sprained left ankle and will not play when the AFC North leader takes on the last-place Raiders.

Conner, second in the NFL in rushing touchdowns (12) and fifth in yards rushing (909), suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of a 33-30 loss to the Chargers.

The Steelers (7-4-1) will turn to Stevan Ridley and rookie Jaylen Samuels. Ridley, an eight-year veteran, has 56 yards on 18 carries this season. Samuels has 12 carries for 31 yards this season and seven receptions for 54 yards.

BILLS: Buffalo cut Kelvin Benjamin with four weeks left in the season in an indication of how poorly the receiver underperformed in 13 months with the team.

Benjamin had just 23 catches on 62 targets for 354 yards and one touchdown.

BRONCOS: Denver signed veteran cornerback Jamar Taylor to add depth to its defensive backfield with star cornerback Chris Harris Jr. out with chip fracture in his lower right leg.

RAIDERS: Oakland signed free-agent defensive end Damontre Moore and waived defensive end Fadol Brown.

PANTHERS: Carolina will place tight end Greg Olsen on injured reserve, according to a league source, after he ruptured his right plantar fascia in Sunday’s loss at Tampa Bay.

BRANDON BROWNER, the former cornerback who won Super Bowls with the Patriots and Seahawks, was sentenced in Los Angeles to eight years in prison for trying to kill his ex-girlfriend.

Prosecutors said Browner, 34, was sentenced after pleading no contest to attempted murder as part of a deal with prosecutors. He also pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to a child.


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