According to the Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr., Bengals CB Trae Waynes tore his pec during the standard ramp-up weight lifting period, not while doing a max or anything.
Waynes and his agent were unhappy with the team for not showing more urgency in getting a physical done because that meant they’d have to take it easy in training to avoid injury and losing Waynes’ signing bonus.
Dehner notes their decision to go public twice with their frustrations can’t sit well with a notoriously private Bengals front office and isn’t a good start to Waynes’ tenure in Cincinnati, though obviously there’s still plenty of time to turn it around.
Per the Athletic’s Jay Morrison, Bengals HC Zac Taylor acknowledged fellow free-agent CB Mackensie Alexander could replace Waynes while he’s out, but Cincinnati signed Alexander specifically to play nickel: “He’s a heck of a nickel. Really solid tackler, really confident, has great pattern recognition, good energy out there on the field. So he’s a guy that we’re really counting on for our defense this year.”
Morrison says the most logical replacement is Bengals CB Darius Phillips, who had four interceptions in part-time duty in 2019.
Morrison adds that could clear a spot for Bengals WR Alex Erickson to make the team as a punt returner, as Phillips was projected to start there.
Other options on the roster include free-agent signing CB LeShaun Sims, former CFL CB Winston Rose and CB Tony Brown.
Bengals DT D.J. Reader said he cut 30 pounds and now weighs 317 pounds as he prepares for a larger role in Cincinnati after signing in free agency. (Dehner)
Chubb said Browns QB Baker Mayfield has looked good, that he’s saying all of the right and more importantly not saying some things. (Nate Ulrich)
Browns CB Denzel Ward said he had a “decent” 2019 season though it wasn’t as good as he had hoped: “Not the season I had in mind. When I was on the field I produced, helped team but there’s a lot more I can do.” (Petrak)
Per the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens DC Don Martindale said adding CB Marcus Peters, who will have his first full offseason with the team, has been great for the defense: “Marcus Peters is one of the smartest corners I’ve ever seen play the game. He’s just been a tremendous asset to our defense.”
Ravens OC Greg Roman reiterated the team doesn’t see having four legitimate running backs as an issue: “The more the merrier. We’ll be able to utilize all those guys. In our offense, we don’t look at it as a problem at all. We look at it as a really good thing.” (Zrebiec)
Per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor, Steelers RB James Conner reiterated he never considered opting out despite a bout with lymphoma while he was in college four years ago: “I was excited to get back and be around my teammates and be around football again. I still haven’t thought about it or questioned playing this year.”
Steelers RB coach Eddie Faulkner notes RB Benny Snell changed his body this offseason and looks good going into 2020: “I’m excited about Benny. That’s a guy that’s passionate and loves the game. I feel like he’ll hit the ground running this year.” (Pryor)