"He has pulled himself up before in situations," Ryan said. "But I think his competitiveness (will help him) and he understands, you just have to go out and play the position and do it to the best of your ability, believe in your teammates and I think that's it. Protect the football. That's all we're asking him to do. Play the position, do what you do, but protect the football."
Sanchez will likely be without his favorite target this week in Keller, who was hurt late in the opening half against Arizona. Keller is second on the team with 28 receptions, but backup Jeff Cumberland has been solid this season with 21 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns — including the one he caught from McElroy last week.
"I'm really happy with the way Jeff Cumberland has progressed," Ryan said. "We expected him to get better, but you see it, really, as a blocker but even as a receiver. He's made some nice catches for us and things, so we're fortunate to have Jeff behind us."
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