AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers



The Cincinnati Bengals are without rookie QB Joe Burrow for the rest of the season and are expecting more from replacement QB Brandon Allen, who is aware he needs to improve as the year rolls on.

“It’ll help a lot in terms of timing with the receivers, getting all our routes down and getting a feel for how they run certain routes and things like that,” Allen said, via Tyler Dragon of The Cincinnati Enquirer. “I think any time you can get more practice reps, more throws to those guys that are going to be in the game, you’re only going to get better from that. There’s a lot on the film that I saw that I can get better. Getting to my second read, third read, getting the ball out of my hand in certain situations. Obviously protecting the football a little bit better than I did.”

  • According to Ben Baby, Bengals WR Mike Thomas (hamstring) is expected to play in Week 13. 
  • Bengals HC Zac Taylor said DB Darius Phillips (illness) did not practice on Friday but is expected to return from injured reserve on Saturday and be available for Sunday’s game. (Baby)
  • Taylor said Bengals OL Alex Redmond has been ruled out from Week 13 due to a concussion. (Baby)
  • Baby expects the Bengals to start Michael Jordan at left guard and Quinton Spain at right guard in Week 13. (Baby)
  • Bengals DL coach Nick Eason will not travel with the team for Week 13 against the Dolphins for COVID-19-related reasons. (Aaron Wilson)
  • OUT for Week 13: CB Tony Brown (hamstring), G Alex Redmond (concussion)
  • QUESTIONABLE for Week 13: DT Christian Covington (illness), C B.J. Finney (back), LS Clark Harris (illness), CB Darius Phillips (illness), WR Mike Thomas (hamstring), DT Xavier Williams (back), S Brandon Wilson (hamstring)


Browns’ DE Myles Garrett is finally ready to return from the COVID-19 list, with HC Kevin Stefanski and DC Joe Woods both anxious to see how much he will play against the Titans.

“We’re going to make sure that we’re smart about how we get him back out there,” Stefanski said, via Scott Petrak of

“We’re talking to him. He feels good,” Woods added. There’s all type of technological advances where we can see where he’s at, as well. We’ll know what he’s capable of on Sunday.”

  • Browns HC Kevin Stefanski said FB Andy Janovich is “ready to go” for Week 13 after being activated from the COVID-19 list earlier this week. (Ulrich)
  • Stefanski said that WR Taywan Taylor’s neck injury is “kind of a fluke thing” but is unsure of his timeline for recovery. (Mary Kay Cabot)
  • Browns DE Myles Garrett described dealing with COVID-19: “I had it. It kicked my butt. Now I’m back. Body aches, lost smell, fever. I was in pain. It wasn’t great.” (Scott Petrak)
  • OUT for Week 13: WR Khadarel Hodge (hamstring), WR Taywan Taylor (neck), CB Denzel Ward (calf)
  • QUESTIONABLE for Week 13: C Nick Harris (ankle), DT Vincent Taylor (knee)


Ravens HC John Harbaugh would not elaborate on when QB Lamar Jackson would return from the COVID-19 list but mentioned that each player could return at different times. 

“They all have their different days when they’re possibly allowed to come back, but those are medical decisions, in the end, not coaching decisions,” Harbaugh said, via Jonas Shaffer of the Baltimore Sun. “So when the doctors clear them to practice, that’s when we’ll have them.”

  • Ravens HC John Harbaugh said he expects players to be activated off their COVID-19 list in time for Week 12, while the three coaches who are dealing with COVID-19 “are doing well.” (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Harbaugh said Ravens TE Mark Andrews has not had any “negative consequences” with COVID-19 in relation to his issues with diabetes: “I’ve not heard of any negative consequences in terms of the diabetes with Mark so that’s a positive.” (Zrebiec)
  • Ravens QB Trace McSorley said veteran WR Dez Bryant has increased competition at receiver since his addition: “Since he got here, the competition seemed to turn up once he got in the building.” (Zrebiec)


Steelers’ HC Mike Tomlin says that he is comfortable allowing rookie LB Alex Highsmith to take over for LB Bud Dupree whose season is over, and compared the situation to when LB Robert Spillane replaced injured LB Devin Bush earlier in the season.

“I’m just as comfortable and confident as I was in Robert Spillane when we called upon him, or Kevin Dotson when we called upon him,” Tomlin said, via Ray Fittipaldo of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “That’s life in this business. Those guys work behind the scenes every day very diligently to prepare themselves for these opportunities, not only in terms of knowing what to do, but always preparing themselves in terms of conditioning when we ring their bell, and we are ringing Alex Highsmith’s bell now. It’ll be exciting to see him respond to it, but it will also be exciting to watch his growth because growth is associated with experience. And no doubt in coming weeks he will be gaining a lot of that.”

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