AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers


  • According to the Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr., the Bengals don’t view CB and KR Darius Phillips‘ knee injury that landed him on injured reserve Thursday as serious and he’s a candidate to return in eight weeks. 
  • Phillips has loose cartilage in his knee per Geoff Hobson of the team website.
  • Bengals OT Cordy Glenn is expected to progress to individual drills as he works through the concussion protocol. Glenn has been out for more than a month. (Dehner)
  • The Bengals are hopeful CB B.W. Webb can return to play this week on Monday against the Steelers after missing some time with a wrist injury. (Ben Baby)


Browns HC Freddie Kitchens earned a shot as the head coach of the Browns for his rapport with QB Baker Mayfield and the boost his play-calling gave the team down the stretch last year. So far, though, play-calling has been one of the many weak spots for the Browns in their 1-2 start to 2019, leading to speculation Kitchens has too much on his plate as both a first-time head coach and play-caller. Adding fuel to the speculation is the presence of OC Todd Monken, who had success as a primary play-caller last year for the Buccaneers. 

“I am not going to get into that in terms of how we do things and how we collectively do things,” Monken said via Pro Football Talk. “That is not anything. There is no reason to get into that. Everywhere I have been, we do it collectively as a staff and we move forward from there.”

  • Per Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Browns S Damarious Randall disputed that he recently suffered a concussion: “No comment. I was just placed in concussion protocol on Friday before the Jets game. I just went in protocol then.”
  • Randall mentioned that medical officials believe he was showing concussion symptoms on Friday: “The symptoms was concussion protocol, I guess. I was placed in protocol and that’s really all I’ve got to say about it.’’
  • Browns OT Chris Hubbard (foot) will be a game-time decision on Sunday, per Kitchens. (Scott Petrak)


For a quarterback who’s as elite a running threat as anyone since Cam Newton or Michael Vick, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson says he looks at running only as a last resort. So far, he’s averaging nine carries a game in 2019 after toting the ball nearly 17 times a game on average last year as a rookie. 

“I hate running,” Jackson said via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “Only if I have to, but my job is to get the ball to the receivers, the tight ends, running backs. If I have to run, I’ll do it, but I’d rather just sit back and pass it. I like throwing touchdowns instead of running them.”

  • Ravens DC Don Martindale says LB Pernell McPhee is playing too many snaps at the moment. McPhee feels good and is playing well but Martindale wants to make sure that’s still the case in December. (Jeff Zrebiec)


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