AFC North Notes: Browns, Hoyer, Zuttah, Green

The AFC North was just one of several divisions that saw a star player go down in Week 6, as Browns center Alex Mack suffered a broken fibula and is expected to miss the remainder of the season. Let’s take a look at more out of Cleveland and the rest of the division, which as Bill Barnwell of Grantland writes, has the best record in out-of-division contests so far in 2014:

  • We learned earlier today that usual right guard John Greco will slide over to man center for the Browns in Mack’s absence, but as Tony Grossi of writes, his shift will create a void at RG. Paul McQuistan played there on Sunday, but Cleveland might prefer to leave him in his reserve, swing tackle role. Head coach Mike Pettine allowed that second-year lineman Vinston Painter is a candidate to start at right guard.
  • In a video for Bleacher Report, Jason Cole speculates that Brian Hoyer may not want to sign an extension with the Browns unless Johnny Manziel is no longer on the team. Cleveland could opt to place the franchise tag on Hoyer in 2015, says Cole, and look to rid themselves of Manziel, presumably through trade.
  • Ravens center Jeremy Zuttah played for the Buccaneers for six years before he was traded to Baltimore during the offseason, and he admits that playing against his former team on Sunday brought up some complicated emotions. “There was a time when I was bitter,” Zuttah told Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “Once I got to Baltimore, that was out the window. I’m just happy to be a part of this organization.”
  • A.J. Green was inactive for the Bengals yesterday while dealing with a toe injury, but head coach Marvin Lewis isn’t ruling out Green returning for next week’s game against the Colts, according to Richard Skinner of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Meanwhile, fellow receiver Marvin Jones still hasn’t shown any progress while attempting to recover from an ankle ailment.
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