AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers


Bengals’ trainer Paul Sparling addressed the shoulder injury that DT Geno Atkins has been dealing with for the entire 2020 season.

“Geno has proven to be a durable player throughout his career here in Cincinnati,” Sparling said, via Jay Morrison of The Athletic. “This year, he suffered a shoulder injury just prior to the start of the regular season, which caused him to miss time early before ultimately cutting his season short. Geno’s dedication to the team, his professionalism, and ability to play when many wouldn’t separate him from others. Knowing the effort that Geno will put forth in his post-surgical rehabilitation all but assures that he will return to full strength.”

  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. lists Bengals WR A.J. Green, OT Bobby Hart, S Shawn Williams and K Randy Bullock as goners for next year. 
  • Dehner adds DC Lou Anarumo and OL coach Jim Turner are also both on the hot seat even if HC Zac Taylor isn’t. 
  • Dehner notes Bengals QB Brandon Allen has likely cemented his role as the backup for Cincinnati in 2021, which could mean a few starts at the beginning of the year depending on how Joe Burrow‘s rehab goes. 


Browns K Cody Parkey has missed an extra point in three straight games now. However, HC Kevin Stefanski expressed confidence that he would shake out of his rut. He’s 18-21 for the season on field goal attempts and 40-44 on PATs. 

“As it pertains to Cody, he knows what is expected of him. We are counting on him, and I have a ton of confidence in him,” Stefanski said via’s Scott Patsko.


When the Jets traded LB Avery Williamson at the deadline to the Steelers, the veteran was thrilled at the prospect of leaving what was at the time the team with the worst record for the one with the best record. The Jets actually have a better record (2-2) than the Steelers (1-3) in their past four games, but Pittsburgh’s win this past week clinched the AFC North and gave Williamson his first-ever division title. 

“It was something that I’d seen growing up and since I have been in the league, teams win the division, hats and T-shirts, but something that I never experienced before and it was definitely surreal feeling,” Williamson said via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Chris Adamski. “That [final] fourth down when we finally got off the field, I was like, ‘What!? We actually won it!’”

  • Steelers LB Robert Spillane is eligible to return from injured reserve this week but HC Mike Tomlin didn’t say if Pittsburgh would bring him back. (Mark Kaboly)
  • Tomlin said the NFL has been in touch with Pittsburgh about a maskless postgame celebration led by Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and the team has handed out punishments internally: “Sometimes the education is punitive in nature. That’s the reality of it.” (Aditi Kinkhabwala)

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