AFC Notes: Bengals, Broncos, Ravens


First-round QB Joe Burrow had a rough outing on Sunday as the Steelers’ elite defense beat him up pretty good. But the rookie’s confidence was not shaken despite the blowout loss where he completed just 21 of 40 pass attempts. 

“You hear me talk and I’m not too down in the dumps because I know I’m not going to play like that very often. . . . I was talking on the sideline, and I think we’re in that game if I don’t suck in the second half and I’m not going to suck a lot,” Burrow said via Geoff Hobson of the team’s website. “We’re going to come back to work every day, and I’m excited to go back to practice on Wednesday and start getting these kinks worked out and move on to Washington.”

  • Per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Bengals LB coach Al Golden, secondary coach Steve Jackson and senior defensive assistant Mark Duffner missed Sunday’s game because they were in the COVID-19 protocols. 
  • Bengals HC Zac Taylor said he’s not concerned about Burrow’s ankle injury after he rolled it against the Steelers this week: “Joe will be fine. He’s tough. A couple of those just nicked him up on a couple plays but he’s in good shape.” (Paul Dehner Jr.)


Broncos QB Drew Lock‘s poor play of late came to a head this weekend against the Raiders. Lock threw four interceptions and Denver lost 37-12. While his talent is evident, Broncos HC Vic Fangio says both the coaching staff and Lock have to do a better job of developing the former second-round pick, as those turnovers aren’t sustainable. 

“Obviously, it’s very much of a concern,” Fangio said via the team’s official transcript. “With four interceptions, you can’t win turning the ball over that much. We’ve got to do a good job of evaluating why we’ve thrown these interceptions, what can we do to help him. Everybody’s fingerprints is on that performance, coaches, players, and we all have to take a good hard look at it, which we have been on a weekly basis, but we haven’t found the right formula yet to be consistent on offense.”

Though Lock struggled, Fangio said benching him was never a consideration. While Lock’s play could leave the team no choice but to replace him in the offseason if it doesn’t improve, he’ll get every chance to prove himself in 2020. 

“We’re committed to Drew and the more he can play, the better he’ll be,” Fangio said. “He’s got to fight through this like most young quarterbacks do at some point in their career and we’re going to continue to play him.”

  • According to KUSA’s Mike Klis, Lock was dealing with an injury to his abdomen/oblique area in Sunday’s loss to the Raiders. 
  • Fangio said Lock is questionable to practice Wednesday and the team is waiting for an X-ray result: “He’s pretty sore today with the ribs.” (Kyle Newman)
  • There’s a chance Lock misses this week’s game against the Dolphins but Fangio thinks his injury could improve with time. (Klis)
  • Despite his struggles this year, Fangio does believe Lock has improved from his short starting stint at the end of last season: “When you go back and look at five games he played last year, outside of the Houston game, the games were pretty low scoring. I see definite improvement. No question he has the talent. He’s going through the growing pains.” (Troy Renck)
  • The Broncos also expect DT Shelby Harris to miss this week’s game against the Dolphins while on the COVID-19 list. (Ryan O’Halloran)
  • Broncos DC Ed Donatell is still dealing with his case of COVID-19 and won’t be back this week, either. (Renck)


With an opportunity to get their season back on track and start building some momentum in the second half of the season, the Ravens instead faltered on Sunday night against the Patriots in a 23-17 loss. It dropped Baltimore to 6-3 on the year, which isn’t bad except for the fact nine teams in the AFC are 6-3 or better, including the Ravens’ next opponent, the Titans. In addition to redemption for losing to Tennessee in the playoffs last year, the Ravens will be looking to solidify their own suddenly tenuous playoff positioning. 

“We ticked off. Don’t nobody like losing,” Ravens QB Lamar Jackson said via the team’s official transcript. “I know none of you guys like losing. Especially we got a lot of talent on our team. Just got to regroup. Tuesday go watch film on our opponents, Tennessee, and go from there.”

  • Ravens HC John Harbaugh said DL Calais Campbell is day-to-day with his calf injury and “we’ll see” if he plays in Week 11. (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Meanwhile, Ravens DT Brandon Williams is looking at missing a week or more with an injury Harbaugh calls “Touch and go.”
  • Ian Rapoport reports that the Ravens also placed a waiver claim for OL Pat Elflein on Monday, but the Jets had the top waiver priority.

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