With JuJu Smith-Schuster dealing with a knee injury in addition to the concussion he sustained last week, the Steelers are expected to hold him out of Sunday’s game against the Bengals, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. However, the third-year standout is not expected to miss much time. Smith-Schuster has not missed a game since December 2017. The Steelers are not certain to have Diontae Johnson on the field in Cincinnati either, with the rookie also in concussion protocol. For a team that has featured at least one Pro Bowl-caliber wideout in its lineup for many years, given Antonio Brown‘s presence, Sunday will be an adjustment without one.
Here is the latest from the AFC North:
- On the other side, Cordy Glenn is on track to make his 2019 debut. The Bengals have needed to use their third and fourth options at left tackle this season, with Glenn battling a severe concussion since August. But Zac Taylor confirmed the eighth-year tackle is ready to return, per the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay. Glenn is not certain to start, however. It would certainly help Cincinnati’s cause. Last week, Maxx Crosby recorded four sacks — tied for the second-most a rookie has ever registered in a game — and did most of the damage against guard-turned-tackle John Jerry.
- The Browns designated David Njoku to return from IR earlier Wednesday. The third-year tight end is eligible to return at any point. Although Njoku was not initially planning to have surgery, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes (via Twitter) he did end up undergoing a procedure. Njoku totaled 639 receiving yards last season and will stand to help a Browns team clinging to fringe contention hopes after winning two straight games.
- The NFL would prefer to have the Myles Garrett appeal process sorted out quickly, and ESPN.com’s Dianna Russini notes the league is targeting a decision by Thursday or Friday (Twitter link). NFL appeals officer James Thrash heard the appeal earlier Wednesday.
- Garrett’s camp mounted a two-front case, first arguing the CBA does not contain language allowing for a six-game suspension for an on-field act and second citing the 2013 Antonio Smith incident, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link). The then-Texans defensive lineman ripped off Richie Incognito‘s helmet during a game and swung it at him. While Garrett’s act was far more extreme, and occurred in front of a national audience and in a more safety-conscious NFL time, his side is hoping for a reduced suspension. Smith was banned for two preseason games and one regular-season game. Roger Goodell‘s previous comments on Garrett do not suggest leniency is coming, however.