AFC North Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Browns

Browns CB Denzel Ward has had an underwhelming followup to his Pro Bowl rookie campaign, as a hamstring injury has limited him to just seven games this season. Ward is healthy and back in the lineup now, though, and Browns HC Freddie Kitchens says he’d like to start seeing more production from the former first-round pick. 

“I want him to continue to get his hands on balls,” Kitchen said via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “When you start getting your hands on footballs, that starts creating turnovers. He is playing really good, and I want more.”

Ward had three interceptions as a rookie, but two came in his first game as a professional. In his last 19 games, Ward has just one interception, which doesn’t live up to the standards he’s set for himself. 

“I want more out of myself as well,” Ward said. “There’s always room for improvement in our game and my game specifically, there’s definitely room for improvement. I’ve just got to stay consistent and keep doing what I’m doing and make plays to help this team win.”

  • Browns OT Greg Robinson (concussion) has been downgraded to out for Week 13 against the Steelers. (Scott Petrak)
  • Due to a coach’s decision, Browns S Damarious Randall won’t travel with the team to Pittsburgh this week. Randall was ejected from Week 11’s game against the Steelers. (Petrak)
  • The Browns won’t activate TE David Njoku for Sunday’s game against the Steelers. Njoku says he’s ready to play but Kitchens says they want to work through a few more things. (Cabot)
  • Browns LB Mack Wilson was fined $28,075 for unnecessary roughness in last week’s game. (Petrak)

Ravens

Ravens LBs coach Mike Macdonald praised LB Josh Bynes‘ ability to quickly learn their defense after being signed in October, while his previous experience with the Lions and Cardinals has also proved useful. 

“He’s walked in and he’s known the defense,” said Macdonald, via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “Shoot, he learned the defense, or relearned it, I guess, because it’s similar to a couple of systems that he’s had in the past. So, the communication that he has and the confidence he has in the calls, as you get lined up, that’s a big comfort for everybody else on the field, not just the linebackers.”

Steelers

  • According to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, Steelers LB Ola Adeniyi was fined $56,156 for unnecessary roughness when he lowered his head to initiate contact on a kickoff last week. It’s his second offense of the season. 

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