AFC North Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

Paul Dehner Jr of the Athletic has confirmed with a source that Bengals first-round OL Jonah Williams suffered a posterior labral tear in his shoulder and is expected to miss his rookie season.

The good news, however, is that Williams is expected to make a full recovery and this isn’t something that should impact him in the coming years.

“Posterior is something that generally heals pretty well,” orthopedic surgeon Michael Banffy said. “You typically don’t have any loss of motion, particularly for a football player. We really can expect a high rate of return to play, no matter the position. If you have somebody who is an overhand athlete or a thrower there is more concern, but I think he should do fine.”

League sources tell Dehner Jr that Williams “unequivocally could not have played through the injury this year.

As far as a timetable for Williams, Banffy thinks he should be ready to go in six months or so.

“I think six months is a pretty good number,” Banffy said. “It takes about three months for the soft tissues to heal down to the bone. Until that point, you definitely have to restrict them with regard to getting their full range of motion back, as well as doing a bit of strengthening. Really, two more months for them to get all that strength back, then one more month for some football-specific stuff to get them back on the field. In our guys, it’s usually about six months.

Ravens

Inside linebacker has been pegged as somewhat of an uncertainty for the Ravens in 2019 after the departure of LB C.J. Mosley. However, S Tony Jefferson says second-year UDFA LB Chris Board is ready to turn heads. 

“I really like Chris Board; I like what he’s done,” Jefferson said. “I like his ability. The guy can cover, he’s fast, and he’s got some good instincts, too. He’s been making some plays and turning heads so far in OTAs. I’m interested to see how he transitions that into training camp. I think he’s going to be a surprise player for us.”

Much of the focus on the Ravens this year will be on QB Lamar Jackson and how he progresses in his second season — his first as a full-time starter and in a new offense. Jefferson says the young passer is well-equipped to handle the scrutiny. 

“He’s competitive, and he’s also got his confidence,” Jefferson said. “When he does mess up, he’s got a short memory, and he’s confident in his ability to be able to shake off a bad pass, bad throw, bad play and move on to the next one. That’s what it’s going to take, especially being a young quarterback at this level. Those things are going to happen. There are times where quarterbacks will get in a slump, but I believe he has the confidence, and he’s not insecure about his abilities, and he’s able to throw it away and move on to the next play.”

Steelers

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that the Steelers are confident in their ability to replace Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown on offense and that first-round LB Devin Bush will actually play a more important role in determining the Steelers’ success in 2019.
  • Breer is intrigued to see third-round WR Diontae Johnson in action, as he’s been told the Steelers had him rated as the top receiver on their board. 
  • The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly mentions the Steelers will likely extend DT Javon Hargrave before the start of the 2019 season. 

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