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AFC North Blog

Our NFL News, Rumors and Commentary for the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers.
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Aug
22

Browns HC Mike Pettine says 'these next two weeks are big' for RB Duke Johnson

Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson has missed about three weeks with a hamstring injury but did get some work in today. The rookie is expected to play a major role in the passing attack and on the ground, nevertheless, he needs to get some reps in. His head coach Mike Pettine emphasized how big the next few weeks are going to be for Johnson. "It's important," Pettine said." He looked really good for us when we were in shorts throughout the spring. He needs some live reps. That's asking a lot of a rookie to put him out there week one with minimal full speed, full contact reps with the particular units. This is a big week, these next two weeks are big for Duke."

Aug
22

Browns WR Terrelle Pryor's chance at a roster spot 'narrows every day he’s not out there'

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor started his transition from a quarterback very strong. After missing two weeks and both preseason games with a hamstring injury, his roster spot now appears to be in serious jeopardy. Head coach Mike Pettine made it clear Pryor needs to get on the field and soon. "As I've said before, he's not guaranteed a spot. He's got to play and that window narrows every day he's not out there," Pettine said. "I know he's getting close but until he's out there taking those reps- the good thing about it he's been very engaged mentally, he knows what to do. That's just part of it he's got to show it, physically."

Aug
22

Browns WR Dwayne Bowe returns to practice Saturday

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Dwayne Bowe returned to practice after missing nearly three weeks with a hamstring injury. Bowe says he feels good and he wants to play next in the team's next preseason game. He also added that he'll definitely be ready for Week 1. "I'm working up to it," Bowe said. "I feel good and am eager to play … I'm a football player. I will be ready. My focus is on the opener."

Aug
22

Steelers WR Martavis Bryant 'shows the growth that he had'

Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver Martavis Bryant has all the talent in the world but is still very raw. After exploding onto the scene last season, he has continued to show growth during OTAs and training camp. His teammates were very vocal in their support for him. Darrius Heyward-Bey went as far to say, "Martavis can be the best receiver who ever played the game talent-wise." His starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger also chimed in about his growth and potential. "Last year, I don't think he knew what was going on," Roethlisberger said. "He is still learning. He is still getting better. He still makes mistakes, but he is the first one who does what he can do to correct those mistakes and that shows the growth that he had."

Aug
22

Browns HC Mike Pettine impressed with RB Terrance West in Thursday's game

Cleveland Browns running back Terrance West has found himself out of head coach Mike Pettine's favor quite a few times since the team drafted him last year. This time, Pettine is expressing how impressed he was with the second-year back. "I thought Terrance ran well," Pettine said. "There were a couple of 2- or 3-yard runs out there that were as good-looking as 2- or 3-yard runs you'll see. There were some holes there. I thought we did some good things. Wanted to make sure we got some core runs on tape."

Aug
23

Browns QB Johnny Manziel leaves practice with elbow discomfort

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was forced out of Sunday's practice with discomfort in his throwing elbow. Head coach Mike Pettine does believe the injury is serious but they will likely shut him down for at least a day or two. "He started to get a little sore," Pettine said. "We'll make the decision. We might rest him and then he's got an off day coming up, so I wouldn't be surprised tomorrow if we shut him down. It just depends how he feels … Am I concerned? When the trainer tells me I need to be concerned, that it's a long-term thing and not just a usage thing, then I'll be concerned."

Aug
23

Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey will miss half the season with a fractured left fibula

Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey will miss at least two months after fracturing his left fibula in Sunday's preseason game. The injury occurred when Green Bay Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix rolled up on his ankle. This is expected to cost Pouncey about half the season and he could be a candidate for either the PUP list or the IR/designated for return. When asked about a timetable for return, head coach Mike Tomlin responded, ""I'll give you information regarding that once we handle the surgical procedure."

Aug
25

Ravens RB Lorenzo Taliaferro will miss a few weeks with an MCL sprain

Baltimore Ravens Lorenzo Taliaferro will be out a few weeks with a sprained MCL. He suffered the injury in the team's second preseason game. His availability for Week 1 is in question. Taliaferro is the frontrunner to be the secondary ball-carrier behind starter Justin Forsett. His biggest competition is talented rookie Buck Allen.

Aug
25

Steelers QB Bruce Gradkowski to undergo surgery for dislocated finger, team will meet with Mike Vick

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Bruce Gradkowski will undergo surgery today on a dislocated finger on his left hand. Gradkowski is expected to be the primary backup to Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh. Because of this, the Steelers have brought in free agent quarterback Michael Vick for a meeting and potential signing. Vick did play well in New York but his coaching staff was offense illiterate and their only other option is Landry Jones.

Aug
25

Browns RB Duke Johnson looks 'fresh' and 'explosive'

Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson is back at practice and looks great. His head coach Mike Pettine has been impressed and sees him being a matchup nightmare. "His legs looked fresh,'' said Pettine. "I am not sure who he beat on the inside post – he looks explosive … You can use Duke as a wideout. It just gives you a little more flexibility from a formation standpoint, which then lends itself to a possible mismatch when you use Duke as a wideout. You can react to what a defense puts out there and call your play accordingly. That is something I am sure we will use."