AFC North Notes: Browns, Steelers, Ravens

Prior to the Browns waiving kicker Zane Gonzalez, Hue Jackson did not know the second-year specialist was dealing with a groin injury. The third-year Browns HC (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk) said he knew “nothing about an injury whatsoever” and that no one from the Browns’ medical department told him Gonzalez was hurt, which could set up for an interesting situation as Cleveland pivots to another kicker. It hasn’t been reported that Gonzalez was waived with an injury designation, and Florio posits an injury grievance from Gonzalez could be in the cards. Gonzalez’s groin malady required an MRI, but he still attempted a 52-yard field goal in the final seconds Sunday. This information also doesn’t put Jackson in an especially positive light, given Gonzalez’s struggles on Sunday — ones that led directly to Cleveland’s 21-18 loss.

Shifting from a player the Browns just cut to one they opted not to draft, here’s the latest from the AFC North:

  • Sam Darnold did his best to not offer much regarding his draft-night mindset, but he did say he expected the Browns to take him at No. 1 due to the amount of time John Dorsey and Co. spent with him leading into the draft, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com notes. The Browns spent time with all four of the top quarterback prospects before narrowing their decision to Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. “We spent time with (Darnold) and his family, and obviously, every quarterback. We feel very comfortable with the guy that we selected in Baker, and I’m sure they do with him,” Jackson said. “He’s a fine prospect and is going to be a fine player. I think they got a good one, but we feel we have a really good one, too.”
  • The Ravens are not counting on having C.J. Mosley available for their Week 3 game against the Broncos, David Ginsburg of the Associated Press notes. The three-time Pro Bowl linebacker suffered a bruised left knee in Baltimore’s loss in Cincinnati. Rookie Kenny Young and Patrick Onwuasor were called to action in place of Mosley, who’s only missed two games (both in 2016) in his career. A fourth-round pick, Young looks like the Sunday starter, per Ginsburg.
  • Broncos rookie UDFA Phillip Lindsay sits third among the league’s rushing leaders going into Week 3’s Baltimore trip, and Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic tweets the Colorado product narrowed his post-draft choices to the Broncos and Ravens. Lindsay (178 rushing yards on 6.1 per carry) is part of a two-rookie backfield in Denver. The Ravens opted to retain their status quo at running back, with Alex Collins, Kenneth Dixon and Javorius Allen back.
  • Allen is now on IR, though the Ravens would’ve preferred to keep both he and cornerback Maurice Canady on their active roster rather than shelve them for at least two months, Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic notes. Neither’s injury is a season-ending setback, and Dixon is a candidate to return from IR later in the season.
  • Le’Veon Bell‘s agent, Adisa Bakari, attended the Steelers‘ season-opening tie in Cleveland, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes the vibe between he and Steelers brass wasn’t particularly uncomfortable. Bakari also represents Tyrod Taylor. Nothing on the Bell front’s transpired in several days, and Pittsburgh’s bracing for a long absence.
  • Mike Tomlin expressed frustration with punter Jordan Berry, per The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly (on Twitter), and he may be on the verge of losing his job. The Steelers brought in free agent punters Jeff Locke and Justin Vogel for workouts today, Kaboly tweets. Berry’s been Pittsburgh’s punter since 2015, and the Steelers signed him to an extension in February.
  • With Joe Mixon out for a bit, the Bengals brought in a host of running backs for Tuesday workouts. Thomas Rawls, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Troymaine Pope and Matthew Dayes trekked to Cincinnati for auditions, Sirius XM’s Adam Caplan tweets.
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7 comments on “AFC North Notes: Browns, Steelers, Ravens

  1. sufferfortribe
    sufferfortribe

    “This information also doesn’t put Jackson in an especially positive light…..”

    Uh, too late.

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  2. madmanTX

    That’s Tomlin: “When a player might need actual coaching, my preference is to cut them and bring in somebody who is ready to go. That way, I can just collect my paycheck and work on my postgame loss speeches.”

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    • wreckage

      A team that has won nearly 3 times as many games as its lost in 4 years has lots of post game losses to cry about…

      Hate the Steelers. But it takes a lot less than a 45-19 record over the past 4 complete seasons to have an issue with the HC.

      Now if they were favorites to win the SB every year it may be an issue, but when the road every year runs thru Tom and Bill you arent the favorite ever.

      Hopefully for Steel fans Tom or Bill is done after this year and Ben Rapelisberg has 3+ years left to add to his glory.

      But if the team discontent continues in steeltown it may not matter anyways.

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    • theeterps

      Berry needs to go, he has been absolutely terrible. That aside, it’s probably time for Tomlin to go after this year. They need a coach to hold players accountable and have control of the locker room. This has gotten way out of hand.

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      • natsfan3437

        They have to many egos on that team for a coach to hold them accountable. They would need to clean house similar to what the jets did. I’m not comparing the success the jets had to what the Steelers are currently having. But the jets let go or traded all the players who had an attitude issue (Richardson, Wilkerson, Marshall, Decker, etc.) or players who have been there for a long time (Harris, mangold, etc.). If they aren’t willing to move on from some of the problem players there isn’t a point in getting a new coach because you know he can win with this team.

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