AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers

     

Bengals

Bengals WR A.J. Green was visibly upset following his ankle injury, yelling and punching the bench in frustration. It’s hard to blame him given the health issues he’s had the past few seasons. 

I’d be disappointed, too,” Bengals HC Zac Taylor said via John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He’s coming back from an injury, then this happens. Obviously, he’s down. We say, ‘you’re A.J. Green. You’ll bounce back from this. You’ll have the season you’re expecting to have.’ I’m proud of the way he’s handled the adversity. I look forward to having him back — whenever that time comes.”

Taylor later told reporters that they thought Week 1 was still a possibility for Green, but it was clear he was going to miss time after the surgery was done. 

“When they get in there and get the surgery done they realize it’s going to be a little bit longer … it’s just going to be a couple of games … hopefully he’ll be ready to go at the beginning-half of the season,” Taylor said, per Paul Dehner Jr.

Green isn’t the only Bengals wide receiver missing time to injury. Former first-round pick John Ross has missed some time with a hamstring injury. It’s not considered to be serious, but the Bengals are playing it safe to try and keep Ross on the field. 

“It’s day-to-day,” Taylor said. “When he’s cleared to be on the field, we’ll put him out there. We don’t want to put him out there too soon and risk losing him for a couple of weeks. It will be good to see some guys get out there and compete.” 

  • Per the Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr., there’s no timetable on a return for CB Darquze Dennard, who had knee surgery in May. Dennard did not commit to being ready for the season opener. 

Browns

Steelers

Entering a contract year can be stressful for some players. For Steelers LB Bud Dupree, though, entering the final year of his deal in 2019 is “fun.”

“For one year, I’m going to go out and do my thing,” Dupree said via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I’m going to prove [myself]. I’m going to help the team and not be selfish. Even though it is a contract year, I can’t be selfish. I have to make sure I am doing stuff that’s beneficial toward the unit as a whole and keep my hair on fire and keep playing to the best of my ability for the team, not only for myself. I’m out here, so it is what it is. I’m going to play my best. I’m going to do my best for them, and whatever happens happens.”

Steelers LB Devin Bush has more pressure on him than the average rookie linebacker. The Steelers not only traded up to select him No. 10 overall, they made the aggressive move to fill a void left in their defense since Ryan Shazier‘s catastrophic spinal injury. Bush enters his first season knowing he has something to prove. 

“That I belong in this league,” Bush said via Jarrett Bell of USA Today. “That I was the right choice for this team. To give up that many picks and put that many high hopes on me. . . .  I’m out to prove I’m not a bust.”

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