AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers


Bengals QB Joe Burrow wants it to be known that winning in the playoffs will be a new normal for Cincinnati fans.

“I tried to downplay it and all that because this is how it’s gonna be from here on out,” Burrow said, via “It was a great win for us. But now this is the standard for the bare minimum every year going forward. I thought it would happen last year. Unfortunately, I got hurt. But we weren’t super good last year. But this year, this is the expectation.”

  • Bengals OC Brian Callahan remains focused on the task at hand despite drawing interest from other franchises: “My focus is 100% on this game and to my players. Anything I do outside that framework is on my own time. You get individual benefit from the collective success.” (Aditi Kinkhabwala)
  • Bengals CB Mike Hilton wants the team to resign DT Larry Ogunjobi next season: “Personally, I hope we sign him back…. I hope he’s here for the next couple of years.” (Ben Baby)
  • Bengals HC Zac Taylor says DE Trey Hendrickson will play this week after clearing the league’s concussion protocol. (Kelsey Conway)
  • The Bengals protected four players on the practice squad ahead of the AFC Divisional Round including S Trayvon Henderson, G Keaton Sutherland, WR/PR Trent Taylor and DT Renell Wren. (Jay Morrison)


The Cleveland Browns announced QB Baker Mayfield‘s shoulder surgery was successful.

“We anticipate Baker bringing light throwing in April,” the Browns said. “He should be able to participate in the offseason program on a limited basis while a full recovery is expected by the start of training camp.”

  •’s Mary Kay Cabot reports there was no damage to Mayfield’s shoulder beyond the torn labrum.
  • According to ESPN’s Jake Trotter, Mayfield starts physical therapy next week and should be cleared for training camp.
  • Following the incident with Browns DT Malik McDowell, his high school football coach said McDowell “doesn’t remember” any of what happened and suspects that he was possibly drugged or given something that was laced. (TMZ)


Steelers WR Diontae Johnson said he believes in QB Mason Rudolph as a starting-caliber quarterback.

“I see a lot. Mason is a great player, great quarterback,” Johnson said, via Pro Football Talk. “He’s smart. Playing with him my rookie year, he’s shown he can win us games. In those tough moments, too, he can make plays. He’s relaxed. And at times on the sideline this year, he was always on it, telling us what to look for, what coverages they mostly were in. Just throwing out plays we could use to beat certain coverages and whatnot. So, he’s a great player. I’m sure he’s going to work his tail off to compete for the starting job. I’m pulling for him.”

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