AFC North Notes: Blount, Sheard, Rice

The Steelers parted ways with disgruntled running back LeGarrette Blount yesterday, and it doesn’t sound like his teammates were too upset about the decision. As Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes, center and team captain Maurkice Pouncey referred to Blount’s release as a “blessing in disguise.”

“We’re fine,” Pouncey said. “We have our starting running back. It’s probably a good thing that it happened. At the end of the day, if it was a cancer, he ended up leaving on his own. That’s a blessing for us. At the end of the day, we’re good. We don’t need him.”

As we wait to see whether or not Blount clears waivers later today, here are a few more notes from around the AFC North:

  • Head coach Mike Pettine indicated on Monday that Browns linebacker Jabaal Sheard may be out for the rest of the season with a foot injury, but the team has received some good news on Sheard, according to Ian Rapoport of Rapoport tweets that Sheard, who got a second opinion on the injury, won’t require surgery and should be back in a week or so.
  • Now that the NFL has announced Adrian Peterson‘s suspension and arbitrator Shyam Das made a decision on the NFLPA’s grievance related to the Vikings running back, the next issue on the legal docket for the league is a ruling on Ray Rice, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. A decision is expected within the next week, and could come at any time, and it appears likely that the former Ravens running back will have his indefinite suspension overturned.
  • In the wake of Blount’s release from the Steelers, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wonders why the team signed him in the first place, given his history of off-field incidents.
  • Earlier this morning, I asked whether Blount or Ben Tate will be the better pickup of the two AFC North running backs cut yesterday.
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