AFC Notes: Joe Burrow, Cameron Heyward, Bengals, Browns, Steelers


Bengals QB Joe Burrow has faith he’ll remind the league what he’s capable of after missing the last part of the season due to a wrist injury. 

“I believe that,” Burrow said, via the Pardon My Take podcast. “That’s what happens when you get hurt, though. You don’t play football, people forget about you. . . . If you’re not out there and people aren’t watching you, then there’s nothing to talk about. I’m going to give people something to talk about this year. I’m excited about it.”


Last season, the Browns ranked as one of the league’s top defenses before having one of their worst performances of the season in the postseason against Houston. Cleveland CB Martin Emerson and DE Za’Darius Smith noted they are leaving the good and bad in 2023 and keeping their focus on the upcoming season.

“To be, truthfully, I watched it one time to put it to bed, and I probably watched it again just because I was so frustrated maybe the first time,” Emerson said, via Chris Easterling of the Akron Beacon Journal. “But I ain’t watch it too much. I just wanted to just put what we did bad to bed and just watch it and just get done with it. But I got to embrace that game and just make sure that never happens again.”

“I know something, what coach told me earlier, man,” Smith added. “We’re not even going to talk about the past, so we’re going to focus on the future. How about that?”


Steelers DT Cameron Heyward had a rough 2023 season where he injured his groin in training camp and never recovered to full health. Pittsburgh DC Teryl Austin believes Heyward will return to form for their defense this season. 

“It’s hard to tell right now, but I’m anticipating him getting back to the Cam Heyward that we know,” Austin said, via Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. “He’s big, he’s strong, he’s moving well. You can see it now; he’s moving so much better than he did last year. I’m assuming that we’re going to get the Cam that we’re used to seeing.”

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