AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens

     

Bengals

  • According to the Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr., Bengals WR A.J. Green returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday, participating in individual-style drills. 
  • The Bengals continued their shuffling of the offensive line this week, moving Billy Price into the starting slot at left guard ahead of fourth-round rookie G Michael Jordan. Bengals HC Zac Taylor downplayed the idea of that being the solution to their issues, though: “It’s not one person. We’ve got guard depth. We’ve always had a lot of confidence in [Price]. We’ve got a lot of confidence in Mike Jordan. It’s just something we wanted to look at this week. Billy has continued to earn an opportunity.” (Hobson)
  • Bengals sixth-round rookie RB Rodney Anderson says he should be on track to return by the third preseason game in 2020 after his fourth season-ending injury in the past five season. Anderson tore the same ACL that ended his college career this preseason. 

Browns

Browns QB Baker Mayfield hasn’t made any effort to change his confident, arguably brash persona as he entered the NFL from college. It’s both endeared him to teammates and made him a target around the league. Browns G Joel Bitonio acknowledged that’s more than an offseason narrative, he says the team can feel opponents bringing extra motivation to knock down Mayfield and the Browns a peg. 

“It’s one of those things that people, they see Baker’s name, they see him the media, they see some of his quotes and things of that nature, and they want a piece of him,” Bitonio said via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “And it’s one of those things that we’re going to expect and we’re ready for. If that’s the way they motivate themselves to play, I just don’t know how someone can play harder. From my perspective, I don’t know how I could go out on the field and be like, ‘This Baker Mayfield guy did something, so I’m going to play harder today.’”

  • Bleacher Reports’ Mike Freeman said several veteran players around the NFL, including one defender with a Super Bowl ring, believe Mayfield is too cocky for what he’s achieved at this point in his career: “He acts like he’s won 10 Super Bowls. He hasn’t won any.”

Ravens

With their run defense in tatters a week ago, the Ravens went looking for help at linebacker. Typically there are slim pickings available on the free-agent market this time of year, but the Ravens settled on LB Josh Bynes, a 30-year-old veteran who got his start in the league with the Ravens in 2011 and had been passed over for younger options despite several workouts this year. Despite only a few days to learn the playbook, Bynes made an instant impact with five tackles and an interception while playing most of the snaps. 

“He had a number of tackles. He was in the right spot. He played hard. His coverage was solid,” Ravens HC John Harbaugh said via the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. “And it’s a credit to him because he was in great shape. You do worry about guys in that situation, just being able to handle it physically, and he handled it great during the game. We didn’t even plan on playing him that many reps, but he felt so good during the game, he was able to do it.”

  • Ravens DC Don Martindale says they’re still trying to figure out how recent addition DL Jihad Ward fits in: “(He)hasn’t even been fitted for pads yet. We’ll see where he fits in.” (Zrebiec)

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