AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

So far in 2020, Bengals K Randy Bullock has been one of the most accurate kickers in the league, making 18 of his 20 field goal attempts. However, both of his misses have come at awful times at the end of close losses to the Chargers and Colts. Clutch kicking has been a criticism for Bullock throughout his career and Bengals ST coordinator Darrin Simmons agreed it’s something the team is monitoring as well. 

“There’s a lot of guys that can make field goals. But what do they do in the heat of the battle? What do they do over the course of time?” Simmons said via the Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. “Everyone wants the closer. Everyone wants the relief pitcher to come in and save the game. That’s what we are continuing for Randy to try to work through. Hitting all those clutch field goals at the clutch times. That’s how you win close games.

“When you look at Adam Vinatieri, Adam Vinatieri was a good kicker in terms of percentage over time, I wouldn’t say he’s elite, but up until the last three or four years, you could always count on him in the clutch. It’s a very fine line between making a couple when it really counts and if you miss a couple not letting it steamroll on you. I’m happy the fact Randy, he’s made 18 of 20, so he’s been solid, we got to continue to get him to make it when they all count.”

  • Bengals DT Mike Daniels is the latest NFL veteran to be blown away by what he’s seen from first-round QB Joe Burrow: “He sees something, and he’s going to be making an audible you wouldn’t expect a rookie to make…He’s like a 4-year veteran. He had to take the long way to the NFL like Aaron (Rodgers); there is no entitlement there.” (Peter Schrager)
  • Bengals HC Zac Taylor said that while RB Joe Mixon (foot) wants to play in Week 10, they must “protect the player” from setbacks: “He wants to play more than anything, sometimes you have to protect the player from himself,” said Taylor. (Paul Dehner Jr)
  • Taylor said Mixon is officially listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game and was held out of Friday’s practice for precautionary reasons. (Ben Baby)
  • Tyler Dragon reports that Bengals’ veteran DT Geno Atkins will miss Week 10 due to personal reasons that are not COVID-19 related. 
  • Bengals WR coach Bob Bicknell is still going through the league’s COVID-19 protocols and will be unavailable for Week 10. (Mike Garafolo)
  • OUT for Week 10: DT Geno Atkins (not injury related), T Bobby Hart (knee), CB Darius Phillips (groin), WR John Ross (foot), CB LeShaun Sims (concussion)
  • DOUBTFUL for Week 10: RB Joe Mixon (foot)
  • QUESTIONABLE for Week 10: T Jonah Williams (stinger)

Browns

Browns HC Kevin Stefanski said he is hopeful that injured reserve RB Nick Chubb (knee) will play in Week 10 but will continue to monitor him ahead of Sunday’s game. 

“I would say I am hopeful, but I want to let this week play out,” Stefanski said, via Scott Petrak of BrownsZone. “How he feels and how he checks in with the trainers will be the determining factor.” 

Browns LG Joel Bitonio said he is excited for Chubb to return after the running back was designated to come off the injured reserve. 

“When you see Nick in the huddle smiling and just ready to play football again, it makes you happy,” Bitonio said. Nick runs his tail off and he runs hard. He finds those dirty yards. We are excited to have him back.” 

Browns OC Alex Van Pelt mentioned that Chubb “looked good” in Thursday’s practice but wants him to be “as healthy as possible.”

“He looked good yesterday in practice,” Van Pelt said. He got some touches. It was great to see him out there. The key is to get him as healthy as possible for that second-half-of-the-season push. Winter football is coming. We’re going to have to rely on the run game a fair amount, and to have him healthy, full of energy there for the second half is important.”

  • Stefanski adds that he wants to determine Chubb’s status for Week 10 with the medical staff before officially activating him off injured reserve.
  • The Cleveland Browns are bringing in LB Cale Garrett and WR Marcus Green for tryouts this week, according to Aaron Wilson.
  • QUESTIONABLE for Week 10: LB Jacob Phillips (knee)

Ravens

For the second straight year in a row, Ravens’ CB Marlon Humphrey was mentioned as one of the league’s most underrated players who doesn’t get enough credit.

“They just paid him, but he is very unique—inside/outside, matches on the perimeter, slot, and TEs,” said an AFC personnel director, via Albert Breer of SI. “Opens up their defense to be very flexible. For decades, Baltimore’s personality came from the linebacker room. That guy for them now is an outside corner.”

  • OUT for Week 10: DT Calais Campbell (calf)
  • DOUBTFUL for Week 10: CB Jimmy Smith (ankle)
  • QUESTIONABLE for Week 10: LB L.J. Fort (finger), RB Mark Ingram (ankle), LB Matt Judon (calf)

Steelers

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said he expects Ben Roethlisberger to be activated from the COVID-19 list in time for Week 10. 

“We do expect [Ben Roethlisberger] to come off. We have that expectation because this week has gone according to plan in terms of his place in the procedure,” said Tomlin, via Adam Caplan

  • Ian Rapoport confirmed that Roethlisberger will be activated on Saturday “if all goes well,” and will play on Sunday.  
  • Rapoport adds that Roethlisberger is dealing with a bruised knee from Week 9 but should be good to go for Week 10. 
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers brought in TE Charles Jones for a tryout on Wednesday of this week, according to Aaron Wilson.
  • QUESTIONABLE for Week 10: DE Isaiah Buggs (ankle), G Kevin Dotson (illness), CB Mike Hilton (shoulder), RB Anthony McFarland (illness)
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