AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers


While the team’s offensive line unit has come under criticism this season, Bengals HC Zac Taylor believes the unit has turned a corner the past few weeks. 

Unfortunately, Bengals QB Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending ACL tear after taking a low hit in the pocket. 

“All we can do is make progress as the season goes,” Taylor said, via Paul Dehner of “We gave up a lot of pressure in the beginning of the season. In these last couple weeks our guys have done a great job of keeping people off Joe. He’s had a great pocket, he did not have a sack in the first half. The hit, as I saw it, wasn’t with the ball in his hand. People keep talking about the offensive line without seemingly watching the film for the last four weeks. Again, those guys have done a good job, it’s been a revolving door of players they have been doing a great job. Joe has done a great job moving us down the field. We felt like we were making a lot of progress over the last five weeks and we are not going to apologize for any of that.


  •’s Scott Petrak says the Browns face a really interesting decision with RB Nick Chubb, who will be entering the final year of his contract in 2021.
  • A long-term extension will likely be in the $15 million per year neighborhood but analytics discourage that type of investment into a running back. Browns GM Andrew Berry and chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta appear to be among the more analytically-inclined decision-makers in the NFL. 
  • However, Petrak says Chubb brings a lot of intangible benefits to the team and embodies the culture they’re trying to build, so he would try and make an extension work. He notes the two sides could compromise with the franchise tag, which offers big money but no long-term commitment.
  • Browns HC Kevin Stefanski said S Ronnie Harrison will have an MRI on his knee. (Scott Petrak)


  • Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said Zach Gentry suffered a “significant” knee injury during Sunday’s game. (Brooke Pryor)
  • As for JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s injury, Tomlin mentioned that it doesn’t appear to be anything serious, but it could be a factor, considering they’re on a short week. (Brooke Pryor)

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