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NFL notebook

NFL notebook — Sept. 17

Associated Press

The offense can’t hold onto the ball. The defense can’t take it away. The receivers can’t get open. The running backs can’t find any holes and the linebackers can’t cause any chaos.

Other than that, the first two weeks have been just fine for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh is 0-2 for the first time in 11 years following a 20-10 loss at Cincinnati on Monday night, another largely lifeless performance that did little to hint at better days ahead with unbeaten Chicago (2-0) visiting next Sunday.

“Right now, we’ve got to keep playing,” free safety Ryan Clark said. “We can’t panic and abandon what we have learned. We do have to shore some things up. We do have to be a lot more sound. If we don’t, this is going to keep happening.”

The Steelers have become one of the NFL’s most consistent — not to mention resilient — franchises by dealing with adversity on the fly. Old players move on, new ones come forward.

At the moment, it’s not happening.

Pittsburgh’s rebuilt offensive line — now playing without injured star Maurkice Pouncey — is struggling. So is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and whoever happens to line up behind him in the backfield.

The Steelers are 31st in the NFL in points (19), yards rushing (37.5 per game) and yards per carry (2.4). Felix Jones took his chance at the ever-turning carousel at running back and managed 37 yards on 10 carries, all of it coming in the first half.

Falcons hit by injuries

Atlanta has lost linebacker Sean Weatherspoon for at least eight weeks and running back Steven Jackson will miss the Falcons’ next game — and maybe more. The win against St. Louis on Sunday is proving to be costly.

Weatherspoon won’t be able to practice for six weeks and can’t play in a game for eight weeks.

Coach Mike Smith said Jackson will miss Sunday’s game with a thigh injury.

Around the league

San Francisco 49ers nose tackle Ian Williams was placed on injured reserve with a broken left ankle. The 49ers signed former Browns fullback Owen Marecic to a one-year contact. … The Indianapolis Colts placed guard Donald Thomas on injured reserve with a torn quad tendon in his right leg and waived fullback Dan Moore. … The Dallas Cowboys released defensive tackle Landon Cohen and replaced him with tackle David Carter, who was released by the Arizona Cardinals at the end of preseason. … Tennessee Titans running back Shonn Greene had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and is week-to-week.


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