- The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. believes the Bengals should just go ahead and release DT Geno Atkins and DE Carlos Dunlap given their roles have been reduced and both are clearly frustrated about it.
- Dehner says both players are looking like strong cap casualty candidates this coming offseason regardless given their high salaries and declining play, so why not just rip the bandaid off especially if the two are going to be negative locker room presences.
- Dehner adds it’s unlikely the two would command much trade value ahead of the deadline this year.
- Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer notes the Bengals have been open to trading WR John Ross at a few points the past few years but have not received much interest.
- ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano write that it’s not out of the question the Bengals could elect to move on from HC Zac Taylor if the team doesn’t start winning, though Cincinnati’s historic patience as an organization works to his favor.
- Dunlap went live on Instagram to express his thoughts on his role with the team: “I was frustrated. I was frustrated with my role and hearing about what I was asked to do. Yes I want to play. Yes I want to play every down. That’s clear.” (Ben Baby)
- Dunlap was also adamant that he wants to continue playing football, yet it remains to be seen if he will be with the Bengals next season: “I personally love what I do and I would like to do more of it. Simple as that.” (Baby)
- According to HC Jim Harbaugh, Ravens’ CB Anthony Averett will be out for five to six weeks with a shoulder fracture. (Jamison Hensley)
- Harbaugh added that Averett will be placed on short-term injured reserve in the coming days. (Hensley)
- The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette writes the Steelers likely will have to rely on in-house options to replace LB Devin Bush, including LBs Robert Spillane and Ulysees Gilbert and converted S Marcus Allen.
- Bouchette notes the Steelers could also use S Terrell Edmunds in certain packages to replace Bush’s coverage responsibilities.
- As for the outside options available, Bouchette lists Broncos practice squad LB Nigel Bradham, free-agent LB Darron Lee and free-agent LB Alec Ogletree.
- If Pittsburgh were to approach a trade, Bouchette mentions Lions LB Jarrad Davis and Jets LB Avery Williamson as two potential candidates, noting Pittsburgh met with Davis for a pre-draft visit when he was entering the league.
- ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes Chargers LB Denzel Perryman isn’t playing much and could also make sense as a trade target for the Steelers.
- Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said Bush would have surgery to repair his ACL on Wednesday. (Bouchette)
- He confirmed Spillane would take the first crack at replacing Bush: “One man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity.” (Aditi Kinkhabwala)
- Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (back) and G David DeCastro (abs) returned to practice while CB Mike Hilton (shoulder) and FB Derek Watt (hamstring) were limited. (Brooke Pryor)
- The Pittsburgh Steelers are hosting P Jordan Berry and S Ray Wilborn for visits on Monday. (Aaron Wilson)