One is nose tackle Kelly Gregg. Would you be surprised to learn that the other is defensive tackle Brandon McKinney?
The 6-foot-2, 350-pound McKinney has started for defensive end Cory Redding three times and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata once. It's been a meaningful run for McKinney, whose last previous start had been three years ago with the San Diego Chargers.
"It's a good thing," he said. "I guess I'm doing what they're asking me to do, and I'm trying to do a little bit more. But at the same time, I've just got to keep running out there and chopping away."
McKinney's value is more than just numbers. He's registered just three tackles in his four starts, while Redding has made six tackles and posted a sack in his least three contests. But
McKinney acknowledged that his role isn't about putting up stats.
"I think the D-line in general is more than just numbers because in our defensive system, it's about taking up the blockers so that the linebackers can go through," he said.
McKinney said he's not sure whether he will make his fifth consecutive start this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, but he said he plans to prepare as if that's a distinct possibility.
"If I'm starting, I'm starting," he said. "I'm always ready to go."
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