AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens

Bengals

Through the first half of the season, Bengals WR Tee Higgins wasn’t exactly lighting up the stat sheet and making the jump many expected after a terrific rookie season. But he’s been on fire the last two months and just crossed the 1,000-yard benchmark. He revealed he had to battle through a shoulder injury that affected him more than the two games it kept him out. 

“The first half I was battling injuries,” Higgins said via the Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. “I was playing nervously with the injury, not trying to hurt it again. I just told myself, ‘Go out there and be you.’ That’s what I’ve been able to do so far and it’s been pretty good.”

For a receiver like Higgins who’s signature is acrobatic, contested catches, a shoulder injury can be problematic. But as the season has progressed, he’s gotten healthier and more comfortable with it. 

“We talked a lot about the labrum issues,” Bengals HC Zac Taylor explained. “It’s different for different guys, different positions, different types of labrum issues you’ve got. I can certainly understand that he’s a guy who has to high-point balls, often as a receiver you land on it so it’s in the back of your head. We ask our guys to dig out safeties in the box as well. He did a great job coming back when he was ready and able to. Early on, I’m sure there was discomfort there. He pushed through it, and he looks to me like he’s feeling really good now.”

Browns

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano write the Browns have somewhat limited options if they’re looking for alternatives to QB Baker Mayfield, as the blockbuster names who might be available this offseason seem to have other destinations they’d prefer. 
  • Should Cleveland look to trade Mayfield, both Graziano and Fowler think they’d find some interested teams. His salary also isn’t prohibitive if they wanted to bring in additional competition for him. 

Ravens

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