AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers, Diontae Johnson


Although Bengals HC Zac Taylor said he’d like OT La’el Collins (back) to play this preseason, it’s not necessary for him to start in Week 1.

“You’d like him to get practice snaps. I don’t need him to get preseason snaps,” said Taylor, via Ben Baby.

Regarding TE Drew Sample‘s knee injury, Taylor said he’ll likely require a “couple of weeks” to recover but feels he dodged a “pretty big bullet.”

“It’ll probably be a couple of weeks with him. Probably dodged a pretty big bullet there,” Taylor said. “Just got rolled up. It’s hard to see on the tape, it’s hard for him to remember exactly how it unfolded. We’ll just get him some rest and see how it goes from there.”

  • Ian Rapoport notes that Sample appears to have sustained an MCL sprain that is not considered serious. 


Browns QB Jacoby Brissett spoke about filling in for Deshaun Watson during his six-game suspension and is grateful to have the organization’s trust. 

“Since I’ve been in this league it’s been the next man up,” Brissett said, via “That was the case my rookie year, so that experience helps with not only the playing but with the mindset of understanding that you’ve got to be ready whenever your number is called. It feels good that you have that trust amongst the organization. I’m excited for the opportunity.”

Stefanski called Brissett a “very good leader” and a proven playmaking ability. 

“He’s been in some different positions already in his young career,” Stefanski said. “He has a very good way about him. Very, very intelligent. Very good leader. Has the ability to make plays on the practice field, help in the meeting room. Be accountable throughout the weight room. He just does all the right things.”


Steelers WR Diontae Johnson doesn’t feel like he left money on the table by accepting a two-year, $36.71 million extension.

“No, I felt like I took the right deal,” Johnson said, via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I’m not worried about what everybody else is making.”

Johnson acknowledged the larger contracts signed by fellow receivers in recent weeks like the Seahawks’ D.K. Metcalf, 49ers’ Deebo Samuel, and Commanders’ Terry McLaurin. 

“I’m happy for what they got,” Johnson said. “I’m not worried about their money. I’m worried about mine. I’m happy that I got something done.”

Johnson reiterated that he wasn’t looking at other receivers’ contracts and was focused on his own situation. 

“You see the numbers,” Johnson said. “I wasn’t trying to look at everybody’s pockets. They deserve it. I can’t control what they’ve got going on. I’m just worried about what I’ve got going on. I was able to come up with something.”

  • Steelers WR Diontae Johnson was prepared to hold-in until week 1 if he couldn’t come to an agreement on a new deal with the team. (Brooke Pryor)
  • Johnson mentioned that he didn’t care about what other wide receivers are making. He’s content with his new contract and reiterated that he wants to be a Steeler for life. (Ray Fittipaldo)
  • Johnson said there wasn’t much movement off of the team’s original offer: “It was the offer they gave me and stuck with. I was able to get a little more, but I’m cool with it. I’m happy and ready to play.” (Fittipaldo)
  • Johnson added that he really didn’t have any interest in testing out free agency: “The grass is not always greener on the other side. I was thinking about that, too. At the end of the day, I love being a Steeler.” (Fittipaldo)

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