Monday's roundup: Steelers pound Washington; Newton OK

The Associated Press
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) scores a touchdown on a pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who threw three touchdown passes.

Landover, Md. — 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.

“We’re confident in that group,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “I know we were missing some pieces tonight, but we had 7. And when you got 7 you got the chance to put together performances like that.”

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 own 13-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.

“It’s always pretty good to dial his number,” Tomlin said. “He is Antonio Brown, and he lived up to it tonight.”

The next time he got the ball, Big Ben 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.

Panthers: Newton will play

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he fully expects quarterback Cam Newton to play Sunday against the 49ers despite taking at least four helmet-to-helmet hits in a Week 1 loss to the Broncos.

Rivera said 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 his quarterback has passed a number of concussion tests.

Newton made a brief appearance in the locker room, but did not answer questions. He’s expected to address the media Wednesday.

NFL and Players Association officials are looking into whether more should have been done when Newton took a shot to the head in the final minute of last week’s game from Denver safety Darian Stewart.

NFL officials released a statement last Friday saying there was communication between medical personnel on the Carolina sideline, including the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant, and the two independent certified athletic trainer spotters in the booth. They ultimately concluded there were no indications of a concussion that would require Newton to be removed from the game.

Center Ryan Kalil said Monday that Newton did not seem dazed after taking the final blow to the head with 36 seconds left in the game.

“If he had any problems, I didn’t see it,” Kalil said. “We were talking about one of the protections and he reminded me about something we talked about earlier in the week (in practice), so I thought he was fine.”

Rivera said he has full confidence 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.

“You look at how Luke was taken care of last year and I have a tremendous amount of confidence in our doctors and our medical staff,” Rivera said.

Personnel dept.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll believes quarterback Russell Wilson will play in Week 2 against the Rams despite suffering a sprained ankle in the opener against the Dolphins.

... Texans linebacker Brian Cushing has a sprained right medial collateral ligament in his right knee and is out indefinitely.

... Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen will miss the rest of the season. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the second quarter of a 33-27 overtime loss to the Chiefs and was placed on injured reserve. The team activated defensive end Joey Bosa to the 53-man roster in a corresponding move.

... Falcons coach Dan Quinn confirmed defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman is facing domestic violence charges.

... The Bills could be short two key offensive starters for their home game against the Jets on Thursday night. Receiver Sammy Watkins complained of soreness in his surgically repaired left foot. Offensive tackle Cordy Glenn didn’t return after he hurt the same left ankle that forced him to miss three weeks of training camp.

The Bills also re-signed fullback Jerome Felton, a former Lions player.