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Carder to start, Robertson out

Posted Nov 24, 2013

Cleveland Browns linebacker Tank Carder will start in place of Craig Robertson against the Pittsburgh Steelers today.

Cleveland Browns linebacker Tank Carder will start in place of the injured Craig Robertson against the Pittsburgh Steelers in today’s AFC North Division game at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Carder, who has posted eight solo special-teams tackles this season, is in the starting lineup because Robertson suffered a sprained knee in last Sunday’s 41-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

“I played the second half of the last game, so I feel comfortable in the defense,” Carder said earlier in the week. “If I do get a chance to get in the game and play, I think I can do my job and there won’t be any drop off.

“I’m the kind of guy that with the role that I’m given, I’m going to take it and be the best that I can at it. Whether it’s a four-phase (special-teams) guy, a starter, a backup, whatever it is, I’m the kind of guy that will rise to the challenge. If they ask me to be a starter, I’m going to be a starter. If they ask me to be a backup guy, I’ll be a backup guy. A four-phase guy to play all the special teams, I’m going to do the best that I can at whatever they ask me to do.”

In his two-year NFL career, Carder has played in 25 games, with one other start coming last season for the Browns. He has registered eight total tackles, six solo stops, and two assists with one pass breakup on defense.

“I thought he did a solid job, particularly, without getting a lot of reps during the course of the week and stepping in,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said of Carder’s play against Cincinnati. “He’s been a real plus for us on special teams. In college, I know he was an MVP of the Rose Bowl, and he has some good traits.”

Defensive coordinator Ray Horton added, “I go back to my first interview with you guys, talking about depth. I do not care who’s in the game. They’re all accountable. I am as comfortable with Tank as I was Craig. Whether it’s (Ahtyba) Rubin in the game, whether it’s Billy Winn, I believe in our players that they will be accountable and do the job to the best of their ability.”

In addition to Robertson, tight end MarQueis Gray (hamstring), offensive linemen Patrick Lewis, Reid Fragel, Martin Wallace and Garrett Gilkey, and defensive lineman Armonty Bryant (back spasms) are inactive for today’s game.

The Steelers have deactivated quarterback Landry Jones, wide receiver Derek Moye, safety Shamarko Thomas, tight end Richard Gordon, linebackers Stevenson Sylvester and LaMarr Woodley, and defensive end Brett Keisel.

Ziggy Hood will start for Keisel at defensive end, and rookie Jarvis Jones will go for Woodley at outside linebacker.