Through the first eight games of the season, Bengals RB Joe Mixon had compiled just 320 rushing yards as Cincinnati’s offensive line woes crippled its rushing attack. However, Mixon has surged over the past six games and now finds himself just 75 yards away from his second-straight 1,000-yard rushing season. He drew high praise from Patriots HC Bill Belichick after rushing for 136 yards against New England Sunday and could add that to his list of reasons he deserves a contract extension heading into 2020.
“He probably is the best back in the league,” Belichick said via ESPN’s Ben Baby. “He runs so hard and is so hard to tackle.”
- Per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal, Browns HC Todd Monken said he thought TE David Njoku has responded well to being benched last week: “We have a job to do. … The bottom line is who we put on the field we think gives us the best chance to win, and he has responded well and I thought he had a good practice yesterday.”
- Browns DT Sheldon Richardson (back) hasn’t practiced so far this week but HC Freddie Kitchens expects him to play Sunday against the Ravens. (Mary Kay Cabot)
- Browns signed LB Jermaine Grace to their practice squad. (NFLTR)
- Browns released QB Eric Dungey from their practice squad.
The Steelers announced earlier in the week they would be sticking with undrafted rookie QB Devlin Hodges despite a four-interception performance in Sunday night’s loss to the Bills. Pittsburgh needs to keep winning to ensure a spot as the AFC’s No. 6 seed these last two weeks, so conventional wisdom would suggest Hodges has a shorter leash if he keeps turning it over. The player they call “Duck” though says he’s not feeling any added pressure.
“I don’t,” Hodges said via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I don’t think any of the coaches are thinking about that because I don’t think any of the coaches are expecting me to have a bad game. They are expecting me to learn, play better and do well.”
- Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster was a full participant in practice Thursday, while CB Joe Haden didn’t practice with a foot injury. (Ray Fittipaldo)