AFC North Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

  • Per the Athletic’s Jay Morrison, Bengals WR A.J. Green confirmed he and the team are continuing to work on a contract extension. 
  • Green’s ankle injury, the latest in a recent string for the 31-year-old receiver, has been a complicating factor, but the Bengals haven’t shown a reticence to finalize extensions during the season. 
  • Green added he didn’t feel like the field during training camp, which was under scrutiny after he hurt his ankle, was the reason for his injury, other than the fact it was turf instead of grass: “It’s turf. I hate turf. I feel like turf has always hurt me. I hurt my toe on turf and I hurt my ankle. I never got hurt on grass. Everybody needs grass fields.”
  • Green said he was “way ahead of schedule” and while he didn’t want to commit to a timetable he hinted toward the Bengals’ Week 4 game against the Steelers: “That’s Monday night, too. So that’d be a great game to come back.”

Ravens

  • Per the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens DC Don Martindale said he views LBs Kenny Young and Chris Board as interchangeable. 
  • Board, an undrafted free agent last year, had overtaken Young, a fourth-rounder that same year, for the starting position until the former rolled an ankle at the end of the preseason. Young started Sunday’s season opener. 
  • With Ravens CB Jimmy Smith out for a few weeks with a knee sprain, Martindale says second-year CB Anthony Averett will be one of the players tasked with replacing him: “He can fly. And he’s just getting more experience, more experience. He doesn’t care who he covers, he just covers them.” (Jamison Hensley)

Steelers

Steelers WR Donte Moncrief was signed by Pittsburgh this offseason with the hopes of providing a reliable No. 2 receiver who could step up and draw attention away from JuJu Smith-Schuster. Despite a strong training camp, Moncrief’s first test in that role was lackluster. The veteran dropped four passes in Pittsburgh’s 33-3 loss to New England. 

“It’s sickening when you watch it and you know the plays that you’re supposed to make and you didn’t make them,” Moncrief said via Mike Prisuta of the team’s website. “And you see them and you’re like, ‘Gosh, I know I gotta make that.’ The other day, after we watched that film, there was a feeling in my stomach, it hurt. I went home, went straight to sleep, it hurt me. I had to put that away. That was my first one like that, that was a bad one. It hurt, but at the end of the day it’s the NFL, all you can do is get better the next day. You gotta bounce back. You can’t let it hold you down.”

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