AFC North Notes: Bengals, Jackson III, Ravens

The Bengals haven’t yet made a decision on which player they will bring back from injured reserve, as Katherine Terrell of writes. Cincinnati has two options for IR/return — first-round cornerback William Jackson III and veteran running back Cedric Peerman — and both are “essentially healthy,” per Terrell, meaning the Bengals are simply biding their time before choosing between the two.

“Obviously the first-round pick is an asset, and you want to get him involved,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “We’ve had him all year since he’s been back from Houston and since the surgery, so to keep him invested in the football team.” The Bengals’ secondary has been below-average, meaning Jackson — who will the only 2016 first-rounder who hasn’t seen the field after Jared Goff starts for the Rams tomorrow — would be a welcome option. But Cincinnati’s sub-par special teams unit is missing its ace in Peerman, making the decision between the pair all the more difficult.

Here’s more on the Bengals and the rest of the AFC North:

  • Defensive tackle Brandon Thompson will return to practice next week, said Lewis, opening a three-week window during which the Bengals can choose to transfer Thompson from the PUP list to the active roster. Thompson suffered a torn ACL in the 2015 season finale after spending the year as a reserve, appearing in nine games and acting as a run-stuffer. If Cincinnati doesn’t opt to active Thompson in the next three weeks, he’ll either need to stay on PUP for the rest of season or be waived.
  • Because Crockett Gillmore is dealing with an injury, the Ravens have continually added a tight end to their practice squad in recent weeks to ensure that they have enough bodies for practice sessions, as Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun notes (all Twitter links). Quarterback David Fales has been the victim in such scenarios, having been repeatedly dropped from the taxi squad to create room for a tight end. That series of transactions will likely end next week, per Zrebiec, as TE Nick Boyle will be eligible to return from a 10-game PED suspension.
  • The Steelers made a number of moves earlier today, placing wide receiver Markus Wheaton and defensive end Cameron Heyward on injured reserve while activating edge rusher Bud Dupree from IR and promoting running back Daryl Richardson from the practice squad.
  • Yesterday, Browns head coach Hue Jackson said it would be a “coup” if Cleveland could retain recently-acquired linebacker Jamie Collins, and also indicated that quarterback Robert Griffin III would begin practicing next week.
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