AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Browns

Browns RB Nick Chubb says his recent MCL sprain was “nothing” compared to his prior knee injury in which he tore his PCL, MCL, and LCL back in 2015.

“This was nothing compared to what I have been through in the past,” Chubb said, via Scott Petrak of BrownsZone. It was just maybe like a little hiccup. It is what it is. I am still blessed to be able to be here and not miss a whole season. That is behind me now. I am looking forward to getting out there on the field with the team.”

Chubb said he wasn’t sure of the specific injury he suffered, but he felt confident it wasn’t severe as his college injury. 

“I was able to walk off the field, and I did not really feel anything,” Chubb said.I never really had pain at all in my knee. A little loose, but other than that, it has always felt good, and that gave me confidence from the beginning that I knew I would be able to come back and play to be 100 percent healthy, which I think has come along well.”

Browns HC Kevin Stefanski said they will determine Chubb’s availability on Friday. 

“He is progressing,” Stefanski said. “We will continue to use each of these days to move him along and then make a determination Friday on where he is.” 

Ravens

  • Per the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens OC Greg Roman downplayed QB Lamar Jackson‘s comments from Wednesday about opposing defenses calling out Baltimore’s plays: “Calling out plays on the defense is nothing new. That’s the chess match. That’s kind of where it gets interesting. If you are not good at anything, you have no tendencies.”
  • Roman said some teams allow their quarterbacks to change the play at the line, others don’t: “We’re somewhere in between.” (Jamison Hensley)

Steelers

  • The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly expects Steelers S Terrell Edmunds to keep his starting position going into 2021, however, he’s not sure if Pittsburgh will pick up Edmunds’ fifth-year option this offseason. 
  • Kaboly has some interesting comments about the dynamic between Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, OC Randy Fichtner and QB coach Matt Canada. Pittsburgh hired Canada to help implement more pre-snap motion into the offense, but Kaboly said you can tell Roethlisberger isn’t necessarily a fan. While he’s spoken glowingly about it at times, he also was used to doing things his way for 17 years. 
  • Kaboly notes Fichtner is a key mediator between Roethlisberger and Canada, as he allows Roethlisberger to take the wheel on offense more often, something Kaboly doesn’t think Canada would be as receptive to if he were the offensive coordinator. Overall, the offense is scoring 29 points a game, so the marriage is going well so far. 
  • SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano writes a lot of people in NFL circles have highlighted the Jets as a potential destination for Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster this offseason. Smith-Schuster is in the final year of his contract and Pittsburgh has a tight salary situation plus a history of letting receivers leave. There’s also a feeling Smith-Schuster would welcome the spotlight in New York’s high-profile media market. 
  • The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette notes Steelers third-round OLB Alex Highsmith is acquitting himself well to take over for OLB Bud Dupree after the latter likely leaves in free agency this offseason.
  • Bouchette expects extending OLB T.J. Watt before the start of 2021 to be one of the team’s top priorities next summer.
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