AFC Notes: Bengals, Patriots, Steelers


  • The Cincinnati Bengals listed DE Cameron Sample and WR Stanley Morgan as doubtful and DT Josh Tupou questionable for the AFC Championship game. 
  • The Bengals activated LB Joe Bachie from the COVID-19 list. He remains on injured reserve. 


Patriots S Devin McCourty is still in great shape and is hoping to return to the Patriots in 2022.

“Going over all of the tests and all the things that we do during the season with our sports performance guy Johan, I haven’t had a dropoff in athletic ability and the physical traits to play the game,” McCourty said, via  Zack Cox of “So it all really comes down to mentally and being ready and being able to tap back in and go through a full season. I think those are the things you have to think about.”

  • Mark Daniels reports that Patriots S Devin McCourty had a minor procedure on his right thumb and still plans to play next season.


  • Steelers owner Art Rooney II on what role he will play when it comes to finding the team’s next quarterback: “Well, I’m not a scout. I don’t pretend to be, but certainly, I’ll pay attention like I do every year to the draft and free agency and be involved in all of our discussions with the coaches and the scouts and Kevin and Coach (Tomlin).” (Bob Labriola)
  • Rooney added that the team will continue to evaluate QB Mason Rudolph and QB Dwayne Haskins: “We won’t close any doors. We’re early in the process. We have Mason and Haskins already on the roster, and they’ll compete. We will explore other options.” (Labriola)
  • Rooney revealed that OC Matt Canada would be returning this season when he spoke about the team’s offensive needs:“That’s something Matt will want to address this offseason.” (Gerry Dulac)
  • Mobility was referred to by Rooney as “something that would be desirable” while also calling mobile quarterbacks “are the wave of the future.” (Dulac)
  • Rooney wants the team to do a better job on both run offense and run defense in 2022: “At times we couldn’t stop the run to be successful. Those are things we need to get right. I do think we have core players on both sides of the ball to build around.” (Dulac)
  • When it comes to HC Mike Tomlin calling the defensive plays, Rooney said that Tomlin is capable of handling things: “Coach Tomlin inserts himself where he needs to. He and coordinators have to work out the best way for plays to be called … As we change defensive coordinators now, there may be some changes in how coach Tomlin handles that.” (Brooke Pryor)
  • Whether or not Steelers’ DL Stephon Tuitt will return next season was also addressed by Rooney: “I wish I had an answer. We’ll be evaluating that situation. Having a discussion with Stephon in the next few weeks. Hopefully, be able to say something more definitively in the future.” (Pryor)


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