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Hoke, Essex hoping to return for game against Browns

›› Nose tackle Chris Hoke and right guard Trai Essex are targeting Oct. 17 as their return date. Essex hasn't played since the second game of the season because of a high ankle sprain. Hoke is recovering from a sprained knee and didn't play this past Sunday. They will benefit from the bye. "I should be ready," Hoke said of the Steelers' Oct. 17 game against the Browns. "You like to have bye weeks later in the year. For me, it's come at a good time." Essex, who is planning on practicing next week, agreed. "The bye came at a perfect time if I was going to be hurt," Essex said. "I'm actually recovering faster than I thought." Doug Legursky has started the last two games at right guard and has been lauded by the coaches for his play. When asked if he will have to win his job back from Legursky, Essex said, "I'm going to come in as if I'm starting (again). I'd like to think you don't lose your starting job to injury."

›› Running back Isaac Redman caught up with Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, an old rival, after the Steelers' 17-14 loss to the Ravens on Sunday. The two are from southern New Jersey and their respective high schools are in the same conference. Redman played for Paulsboro, a perennial powerhouse, while Flacco played for Audubon. They graduated in 2003. "We talked a little bit after the game," Redman said. "He said, 'Man, I finally beat you. It took awhile.' "

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