AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers


  • Bengals HC Zac Taylor disputes the characterization of RB Joe Mixon as week-to-week with an ankle injury, and considers him day-to-day. The team plans to limit Mixon’s reps early on in the week with hopes of him suiting up Sunday. Mixon also expressed a desire to play this weekend. (Paul Dehner, Jr.)
  • Taylor expects second-round OL Jackson Carman to start at right guard again on Sunday with G Xavier Su’a-Filo still working his way back from injury. (Dehner)


The Browns defense carried the team to a win over the Vikings on Sunday, only allowing seven points. HC Kevin Stefanski wants to see his team’s passing game to improve, with more chunk plays and sustained drives.

We know that we want to be better in the pass game,” Stefanski said, via BrownsZone. “We want to be more explosive in the pass game. There will be opportunities for us to improve, and that is what this week is really for is making sure that we are getting on the same page and then having a good plan for the Chargers.

Stefanski took the blame off of QB Baker Mayfield‘s shoulders, instead expressing that it was the play-calling that didn’t get his personnel enough opportunities.

You can go through every play and whether I need to call a better play to get guys open,” Stefanski said. “I would take you to the first drive there. The third-down play did not get anybody open, the fourth-down play did not get anybody open. So those are things I have to do a better job with.

Stefanski isn’t also sweating any potential chemistry issues between Mayfield and WR Odell Beckham, Jr.

That is not really a concern of mine or ours,” he said. “When you throw the ball deep, you are not going to hit all of those. We had some opportunities where we felt like we could throw it deep, and we just did not connect.


Through the first three weeks, Ravens RB Ty’Son Williams looked like he was Baltimore’s best running back, as he averaged 6.1 yards per carry on his 27 attempts. However, the Ravens deactivated Williams on Sunday against the Broncos, going with the veteran trio of Latavius Murray, Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman. Murray got the lions share of the workload but none of them were particularly effective. Ravens HC John Harbaugh explained they’re still trying to find the right mix of players and roles and plan to experiment until they do. 

“We’ve got four guys who are very deserving. I just wanted to give guys a chance,” Harbaugh said via the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. “Which route are we going to go? We pulled the young guy (Williams) back. It wasn’t anything other than that. We just have got to figure out what we’re doing going forward after watching the tape and see how they all fit together. We’re figuring that out for ourselves right now.”

  • As for Williams specifically, Ravens OC Greg Roman said last week they look at more than yards per carry when evaluating their backs.
  • Zrebiec adds he gets the sense from the team that they think Williams has run tentatively at times and missed reads. He’s also fumbled twice and missed some pass protection assignments.
  • Still, Zrebiec doesn’t think the team won’t give up on Williams and he could be back in the mix in Week 5.  


  • Colts DT Khalil Davis also had a waiver claim placed on him by the Steelers, Titans and Chargers. If claimed by the Steelers, Davis would have become teammates with his twin brother Carlos Davis.  (Field Yates)
  • Steelers HC Mike Tomlin says injured OT Zach Banner will continue to be evaluated and be involved in practices: “We’ll find ways to infuse him into the process.” (Ray Fittpaldo)
  • Steelers OT Chukwuma Okorafor and WR Chase Claypool will return to practice this week, according to Tomlin. (Fittipaldo)
  • Tomlin also told the media that QB Ben Roethlisberger has a hip injury, among other issues that are currently hindering him. (Mark Kaboly)
  • Tomlin fielded another question on what is fixable for Roethlisberger right now, adding he still thinks the veteran is the best quarterback for the team’s offense: “Everything except mobility. I don’t have an answer for that or lack thereof. Ben used to be able to run really good when he was young. Those days are behind him. Other than that, I don’t see much that’s not a discussion of tech alterations.” (Brooke Pryor)

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