- Per ESPN’s Ben Baby, Bengals HC Zac Taylor acknowledged that No. 1 overall QB Joe Burrow was always the likely starter but the rookie still won the starting job: “I know that he was the starter the day he walked through the door, but he’s done everything to verify that for us and earn it.”
- Bengals WR A.J. Green was working in individual drills and appeared to be moving well. (Baby)
- Taylor suggested Green would be on a snap count in Week 1, especially given Cincinnati’s depth at the position: “Have to monitor that. We’re fortunate right now. We’re deep at WR. We feel like there’s a lot of guys that can step in and be a primary WR. Obviously, A.J. Green is A.J. Green and there’s no replacing him but our guys have had a strong training camp.” (Paul Dehner Jr.)
- Per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal, Browns HC Kevin Stefanski said C J.C. Tretter returned to practice and was in pads Monday. Tretter’s looking to return from knee surgery August 13 to start next week: “He’s seen a lot of football. I think there’s value in that. He’s a leader of the football team, so really good to have him out there today.”
- Per Tony Grossi, ESPN’s John Clayton confirmed the Browns were the team the Saints planned to execute the sign-and-trade with for Jadeveon Clowney.
- New Browns S Ronnie Harrison is quite happy about being off of the “sinking ship” in Jacksonville: “So Relieved To Be Out Of Jacksonville And Around A New Team Who Wants One Common Goal! Thank You God!” (Twitter)
- Harrison expanded in his first comments to Cleveland media: “Just relieved to be out of Jacksonville and happy to be on a new team. We all want to win. The playoffs is the goal. Ready to rock.” (Grossi)
- Harrison added he won’t be 100 percent up to speed by Sunday but he’ll be “somewhat ready” to contribute immediately. (Scott Petrak)
- Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says DE Jadeveon Clowney would have really liked to have signed with the Ravens but Baltimore was more lukewarm in its interest.
- The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec says the Ravens will be counting a lot on their young receivers as Willie Snead is the only veteran of the group expected to play a role on offense. In particular, 2019 third-round WR Miles Boykin needs to carry over his training camp success as he offers size and physicality that no one else at the position does.
- Zrebiec identifies edge rusher as a place the Ravens could make an addition to at some point this season, noting they brought in Ezekiel Ansah for a visit.
- Safety is another possibility given new starter DeShon Elliott has struggled with injuries in his career and the depth behind him is thin.
- Zrebiec thinks the Ravens are leaning toward starting third-round OL Tyre Phillips at right guard.
- On Baltimore’s first depth chart, which HC John Harbaugh pointed out is compiled by the PR staff and not him, Baltimore lists veteran G D.J. Fluker as the starter at right guard over Phillips. (Jamison Hensley)
- The Ravens list first-round LB Patrick Queen as the starter inside and OLB Pernell McPhee over Jaylon Ferguson. Queen is the only rookie starter and second-round RB J.K. Dobbins is fourth at his position.
- Per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor, Steelers DL Cameron Heyward said he had given up hope on reaching a long-term deal before the start of the season before Pittsburgh signed him to his almost $75 million extension: “There was a time where this was almost dead, to be completely honest. …. I was getting ready for this to be a farewell tour and my last ride.”
- Heyward said talks started three weeks ago, broke off, then he ran into the team owner which provided new impetus for the deal: “Even yesterday, I came up here around 8am … me and Mr. Rooney got to talking… I’m just appreciative of him. I wanted to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and he made that happen.” (Pryor)