AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

Out of Cincinnati’s 31 pass attempts, only three went to Bengals WR Tyler Boyd, who finished with one catch for zero yards. It’s an absurdly low number for a player who’s now Cincinnati’s top receiver without WR A.J. Green and Boyd took note of that after the game. 

“I feel like I’m the go-to guy with A.J. [Green] down,” Boyd said via ESPN’s Ben Baby. “I felt like [my] targets were not where they should have been. I feel that I’m a game-changer and I could have utilized my talents in any way to move the chains, and nothing was coming my way.”

“The way I’m playing, the level that I bring, I believe I get open in any one-on-one coverage across the board against anyone,” Boyd added. “All you gotta do is just read the defense. If [Finley] sees he has me, just gotta put it there, and I’m going to make a play for him.”

  • The Athletic’s Jay Morrison confirms the Bengals and Green are still pretty far apart in contract negotiations. 
  • Morrison believes Bengals HC Zac Taylor is probably safe as the head coach even if the Bengals go 0-16. 
  • The Bengals still have some hope that first-round rookie OT Jonah Williams will be able to return and play a little this season, per Morrison. 
  • The Bengals worked out Freedom Akinmoladun, Deatrick Nichols, Jayson Stanley and Cody Thompson on Tuesday. (Aaron Wilson)

Browns

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed that the league issued a somewhat-unprecedented season-long ban to Browns DE Myles Garrett because it viewed his actions in swinging Steelers QB Mason Rudolph‘s helmet at his head as extreme. Goodell said there was “no place in the game” for Garrett’s actions and the suspension was designed to send that message. 

“He will not play the rest of the season. He will probably meet with us sometime in the offseason,” Goodell said via Gary Myers of OTG. “We’ll make a judgement . . . Does he have remorse? Does he understand why it’s not acceptable? Do we understand what he’s going to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?”

Ravens

From Browns GM Michael Lombardi claimed on his podcast that former Ravens OC Marty Mornhinweg wanted to move QB Lamar Jackson to wide receiver after Baltimore drafted him last year. Lombardi says Mornhinweg, who the team moved on from this past offseason, asked other Ravens coaches “When are we moving him to wide receiver?” On Tuesday, the Ravens organization issued a statement from both Mornhinweg and HC John Harbaugh pushing back against Lombardi’s claims. 

“That didn’t happen,” Mornhinweg said via Pro Football Talk. “Never said that. My thoughts before the draft, and even more when we started working with Lamar, was that this young man was going to be a special quarterback. Very early we saw that along with all of his throwing and escape abilities, he reads the field as well as any young quarterback I ever worked with.”

“Marty was excited from the beginning to coach Lamar and was instrumental in helping him progress through his rookie season,” Harbaugh added.

Steelers

  • Per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor, Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR Diontae Johnson and LB Ola Adeniyi are all in the concussion protocol. 
  • Tomlin added Smith-Schuster’s concussion was a bigger concern than his knee injury. 
  • Steelers fourth-round rookie RB Benny Snell is expected to return to practice this week after having surgery on his meniscus last month. (Pryor)

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