AFC North Blog
Browns running back Duke Johnson returned to practice this weekend after missing two weeks with a hamstring injury. The team was extra cautious with his and still is. Nonetheless, he's nearing a full return, even if head coach Mike Pettine insists they're going to ease him back. "(Johnson) was just jogging around," Pettine said. "We'll take it easy with him."
Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman was sent for an MRI on his ailing knee. The MRI's came back normal but he's still dealing with significant swelling. His knee bruise is now being described as a knee sprain. There is no timetable for their first-round picks return, however, he's still expected to suit up Week 1 as of now. Nonetheless, we will have to wait and see.
Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta will start the season on the PUP list according to head coach John Harbaugh. Pitta has had serious hip surgeries each of the past two seasons. He will now miss at least the first six games of the 2015 season. Make no mistake though, his career is not guaranteed to continue.
Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones is finally beginning to look like himself again. After missing all of last season and most of OTAs, Jones is starting to look like the guy who caught 11 touchdowns in 2013. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is liking the progress he's been seeing. "He's starting to look like Marvin Jones again," Jackson said. "The more he works at it every day … He's still in the process of it. The more he does it, he's just getting himself ready for the season."
Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones has stepped back into his starting role in Cincinnati. He's lining up on the outside opposite A.J. Green in two-wide receiver sets. Mohamed Sanu has been back to his old role as the slot guy and WR3. He's not on the field in two-WR formations. It appears Jones is getting very close to being back to where he was in 2013.
Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman camp down on his knee and was listed as day-to-day. He wasn't expected to miss more than a few days, a week at most. That was on July 30. It turns out he has a sprained PCL. He now has a brace on his right knee and has no timetable for a return. It sounds like head coach John Harbaugh was lying when he claimed Perriman's MRI came back clean. As of now, Perriman is still expected to suit up Week 1.
Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell had a breakout sophomore campaign last year. So good that he is now the consensus first-overall pick despite a two-game suspension. If you thought Bell was great last season, he has a message for his fantasy owners. "A lot of people talk about the season I had last year. They call it a breakout season, but I don't look at it like that," Bell said. "I look at it as me just getting started. ... I still feel like I can do a lot of things better. Last year wasn't even close to me being my best … I watch myself now and I look at last year like I wasn't really quick. Feels like it was [slow motion]. I'm a lot quicker, a lot more explosive now … I've got a sense of feeling that people pretty much know what they are going to get out of me -- a lot of rushing yards, a lot of receiving yards, touchdowns too. [Fantasy fans] just are going off what I did last year. This year, I'm a lot more confident I'll be putting up better numbers than I did last year rushingwise. With our line, they are opening a lot more holes for me. They'll be doing a lot more receiving things with me -- for sure [more receiving packages]. The things I do now in camp compared to last year is night and day. They look at me as an extended receiver."
Baltimore Ravens tight end Nick Boyle has outperformed second-round pick Maxx Williams at training camp. Boyle was a fifth-round pick in this year's draft. He has reportedly been much more impressive than Williams, particularly in the passing game. The Ravens' TE situation is far from decided.
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."
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."