The Bengals were struck with tragedy in October when assistant coach Adam Zimmer passed away. The 38-year-old had been hired to come back to Cincinnati earlier this year to work as an offensive analyst. The son of longtime Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, Adam had been in Minnesota since 2014 prior to that.
As detailed by Paul Walsh of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that Zimmer died of chronic alcohol abuse. Specifically, his passing came about due to “complications of chronic ethanol use disorder,” and was deemed to be natural. Zimmer had worked as an NFL staffer starting in 2006, spending time with the Saints and Chiefs before one year with the Bengals in 2013. He worked as a co-defensive coordinator of the Vikings in 2020 and 2021 before taking his final NFL role, the first which involved work on the offensive side of the ball.
Here are some other notes from the AFC North:
- The Ravens clinched a playoff spot yesterday, and a division title is still within reach. Their offense has struggled throughout much of the season, however, especially in recent weeks with Lamar Jackson sidelined due to a PCL injury. That has led to calls for changes on the sidelines and increasing scrutiny on offensive coordinator Greg Roman in particular. No such move will be coming in at least the near future, though; head coach John Harbaugh stated (via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, on Twitter) that he remains confident in his staff as is, adding that he is not considering any personnel changes at this time. Baltimore’s issues in the redzone have been a near-constant in 2022, with the team’s touchdown percentage of 46.3% ranking 30th in the league. In the three weeks with backup QB Tyler Huntley playing, that figure has plummeted to 22.2%.
- The pursuit of Deshaun Watson was one of the league’s top storylines this offseason, with the Browns ultimately winning out. A large reason the recently-suspended passer chose to go to Cleveland was the nature of their fully-guaranteed, $230MM contract offer, of course, but another factor loomed large. The presence of head coach Kevin Stefanski was a “major reason” Watson chose to join the Browns, notes Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. The third-year HC has been reported to be on the hot seat this season, one in which the team has fallen short of expectations. A strong connection between he and Watson could help the Browns put together an encouraging end to the campaign, though, and help Stefanski remain in his post for at least 2023, the first year where Watson will be available for a full schedule since his acquisition.