Notes: Eifert encouraged; Fisher eyes opener; Quez, Ced on rehab field

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The grant helped install artificial stadium turf, new goal posts and asphalt in necessary areas at the Deer Park Jr./Sr. High School stadium. This allows for additional use of the field for more football games, as well as other sporting events, physical education classes and band usage.

The grant was the latest in an ongoing program in which the Bengals and the NFL have coordinated to distribute $1.5 million to local schools for new football fields. Other schools include Clinton-Massie High School, Covington Catholic High School, Lockland High School, Oak Hills High School, Taylor High School, Withrow University High School and cheap jerseys and Midway Elementary School.

“The news of Darian’s passing is tragic to the entire Bengals organization, and also I know to his colleagues with Hamilton County,” said Bengals public relations director Jack Brennan.

“Darian was not only a very hard worker, someone who had earned high honors for his work, he was a great individual — enthusiastic, helpful, fun to be around. He will be missed in a very personal sense as well as a professional one. He had been with the County in the PBS groundskeeper position for more than 10 years. Our sympathy goes out to Darian’s family and to his many friends.”jersey

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Tyler Eifert (ankle) and Tyler Kroft (knee) said they would try to jog outside after running on various apparatus indoors. No timetable has been set at they try to return as close as they can to the Sept. 11 opener in New Jersey against the Jets, but Eifert says the ankle he injured in the Pro Bowl “feels pretty good,” and he says he has had no setbacks in his return from May surgery.

“I’m not ready to practice. I’m not ready for change of direction,” Eifert said before practice. “But I’m doing multiple treatments a day and doing lifting and conditioning multiple times a day. I try to do as much as I possibly can so when I’m ready to play I’m in shape.”

Before a standing room-only crowd of about 6,300 LaFell lined up with the first team and wide receivers coach James Urban said they’ll start monitoring to see if he’ll be able to handle starting duties with the injury in the Sept. 11 opener.

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“That’s why we’re doing it now to see how things go,” said Urban after practice. “Tomorrow I would expect him to be considerably better as far as alignment, assignment, and get-off and shaking off the dust of running routes again. I saw a little bit of rust he has to shake off. Hopefully he’ll be better tomorrow than he was today.”

“I feel like I’m a coach on the defense. I know all the spots, especially linebackers,” Burfict said. “If somebody messes up, either Coach G or me is the first one to correct it on the sidelines. I’m trying to be like an assistant coach … If he’s talking to the safeties, I’m talking to the linebackers. Sometimes I talk to the D-line. It’s just a chain reaction.”

That’s what happened on the sidelines in last Friday night’s pre-season opener at Paul Brown Stadium against Zimmer’s Vikings. With linebackers coach Jim Haslett and assistant David Lippincott in the coaches booth, Burfict helped out with young guys like the last two third-round picks, Nick Vigil and P.J. Dawson, while wielding an iPad.

After the Bengals finished up their last public session of training camp in a Tuesday morning walk-through on the Paul Brown Stadium field before a group of season ticket holders, head coach Marvin Lewis indicated he doesn’t expect injured starters Cedric Ogbuehi and Brandon LaFell to miss the Sept. 11 regular-season opener in New Jersey against the Jets.

LaFell, a seven-year veteran wide receiver who reportedly has ligament damage in his right hand, went through individual drills Monday after not playing Friday night in the pre-season opener against the Vikings. Lewis didn’t rule out LaFell for the next one, Thursday night (7:30-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) in Detroit.

Notes: Green eyes efficiency; Vet S Wilson added; Tez injury not serious

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As Saturday’s practice came to a close before 1,950 at Paul Brown Stadium, Adam Jones walked over to the kneeling Dre Kirkpatrick on the sidelines and told his fellow starting cornerback, “Good practice today.”

And he could have been talking to most of the DBs as they found their legs and had a much better second practice than first. Jones is good most of the time and Kirkpatrick came out of the gate early Saturday with a pick-six in one-on-one. But Smith, a second-year special teamer trying to hold off seventh-rounder Clayton Fejedelem and veteran Jimmy Wilson to keep his job, gets the nod in a close call over Kirkpatrick.

Eifert says he’s in the weight room putting muscle on his calf and quad, as well as moving the ankle when it is out of the boot for exercises. He expects the rehab to speed up once the boot comes off next week, but he’s staying away from any predictions of when he’ll return.jersey

There may be one good thing to come out of it. After spending all last offseason in rehab with his fellow Indiana native, Bengals rehab chief Nick Cosgray, coming back from elbow and shoulder injuries, Eifert led all tight ends on the planet with 13 touchdowns.

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“If I can’t do it, I’m just going to walk away. I want to do it for 12. If I sign a two-year deal (after his current extension gets him to nine years), I’ll be gone. Eleven will be fine if my body’s not holding up. Eleven would be great. My goal is 12 to 15. We’ll see. I’ll be 31 (in his ninth year), so I think I can go three or four more years after that.”

He does have some unfinished business. After four seasons of struggling in the post-season, Green put together his best post-season game back in January against the Steelers with five catches for 71 yards. And he was placed in the pantheon when his leaping 25-yard TD catch at the goal line capped a 16-0 run and gave the Bengals a 16-15 lead with 1:50 left in the game.

After starting middle linebacker Rey Maualuga didn’t practice during the spring, the Bengals placed him on the active/no-football injury list. That means Maualuga suffered an injury while not at Paul Brown Stadium. It’s unknown what the injury is, but indications are they expect him to return fairly quickly, maybe as soon as Friday’s first practice at 3 p.m. on the fields adjacent to PBS. He still counts against the 90-man roster limit and can return once he’s cleared medically.

Same with tight end Tyler Eifert (ankle), wide receiver James Wright (knee), and defensive tackle Brandon Thompson (knee). As expected, they were all put on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list with injuries they received in games.

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The award has been given annually by the Bengals since 2002. It honors outstanding high school football coaches in the region and includes a $5000 Bengals donation to Clinton-Massie’s athletic department. The high school is in Clarksville, Ohio, approximately 40 miles northeast of Cincinnati.

McSurley came to Clinton-Massie in 1996 in the role of head football coach and cheap jerseys and physical education teacher, and he has a .787 winning percentage for his 20 seasons. His teams have won 10 or more games each of the last 10 seasons and have qualified for the state playoffs for 15 consecutive years.

“Everybody in the league would like to do it that way,” says the team exec. “It doesn’t always work out. Teams make mistakes with draft choices. They’re not worth a second contract, but they’ve hit on a lot of draft picks and they’re developing the guys they drafted. That’s a big part of it. When I look at the draft they had this year, they had another good draft and they’ve stacked good ones together. And they seem to do it under the radar.”

But as Cincy’s Team eyes its sixth straight post-season appearance, the Bengals are more than a few blips these days in the standings, where they have one of the two best records in the league the last two seasons, and on the balance sheet.

Bengals at Steelers Postgame Quotes

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On the last one, with the Bengals trailing, 17-6, late in the third quarter, they had a first down at the Steelers 1 and couldn’t get in with the last two downs going to tight end C.J. Uzomah.

Uzomah, a second-year pro trying to replace a Pro Bowl red-zone target, has plenty of potential but he’s developing in the harsh glare of an AFC North race. On Sunday he was targeted eight times and had two drops to go along with three catches. On second down from the Steelers 3 he got his hands on it at the back end line but was muscled out of bounds on a play the Bengals didn’t challenge because there wasn’t enough evidence that he stayed in.

The problem is they couldn’t remove Roethlisberger from the situation. As he always does he made his coaches look good by bailing them out of loads of trouble. He completed just 19 of 37 passes and tried to force feed it to Brown on 11 targets. But when he had to, he threw lovely balls to guys you may have not heard of, such as tight ends Jesse James and cheap jerseys and Xavier Grimble and wide receiver Sammie Coates.jersey

It was a long ball to Coates that Kirkpatrick turned into a leaping interception with 48 seconds left in the first half for the Bengals’ best field position of the day and the offense turned it into a huge last play field-goal that cut the Steelers’ lead to 10-6.

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I thought he played well. I thought he did a lot of good things. He can’t focus on the fumble. Obviously it was a big play in the game, but he has to move past it. That’s the way it is. We have another really good team we’re going to be playing this week, so you have to move on from it and learn from it. I think he will.

There were different plays, and at different times, calls to go to different guys. That’s just how it was today. There were times when A.J. Green would catch 12 balls and there are other times when other guys will get involved. That’s just how it is.

“Definitely,” Boyd said when asked if he thought his knee was down. “The guys did a real great job having my back. Telling me to keep my head up. I felt real bad because there was (1:50 left) and we were in great position to go down and score. Once I saw it on the screen, I just felt we were going to have another chance, another snap at it. But it didn’t go our way.”

The Bengals did a superb job of holding resident Steelers superman Antonio Brown to four catches for 39 yards and no TDs, his lowest yardage total with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger since Dec. 30, 2012, long before he was “AB.”

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Hampered all day by a Steelers defense that basically took away the deep ball with a two deep safety zone and a four-man rush most of the day, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, en route to a career-high 54 passes, hurried up underneath the zone trailing, 24-9, with a seven-for-seven drive capped off by running back Giovani Bernard’s 25-yard catch-and-run for a TD that cut it to 24-16 with 3:23 left.

And with the Bengals driving for a chance to tie it from the Steelers 39 on the first play after the two-minute warning, Bengals rookie wide receiver Tyler Boyd suffered a nightmare for one of the greatest high school and college players ever from Pittsburgh. After having a solid six-catch game for 78 yards, Boyd fumbled the last one, a six-yarder over the middle with 1:50 left, on a play the Bengals thought Boyd’s knee was down at the Steelers 33 as James Harrison hit him before the ball came out.

The two local beat reporters, Jay Morrison of The Dayton Daily News and Richard Skinner, the digital sports columnist for Channel 12, are in on the Steelers for a variety of reasons. Morrison thinks the Bengals might have a tough time shortening the game on the ground and Skinner goes with the home team on what he sees as a 50-50 ball in the air.

Gerry Dulac of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette goes Steelers because of the ease with which they put up 38 points Monday night in Washington without three weapons in Le’Veon Bell, Markus Wheaton, and Ladarius Green, two of which they won’t have Sunday.

Gary Kubiak returns to Broncos feeling ‘really good’

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“It was different for me,” Kubiak said of the more recent incident. “They’ve obviously had some conversations trying to discuss what happened both times. But to me they were different. Like I said, I feel very good.”

Said Kubiak: “It just makes you really appreciate what you’re doing. We’re in a business where you go, go and go. You’ve got 16 weeks to be as good as you can be — and all of a sudden taking two days away from here? When you’re a football coach, taking two days away from what you do is like, ‘What the hell is going on here?’ It’s like having a summer off or something.

The Texans placed corner Kevin Johnson on injured reserve with a foot injury, the team announced. It’s a major blow to a defense that has given up 227.3 passing yards in Weeks 4-6. Safety Quintin Demps (calf), linebacker Brian Peters (quadriceps) and running back Jonathan Grimes (ankle) were also ruled out.

After not playing a snap last week, Houston rookie receiver Will Fuller (hamstring) was full-go on Saturday after being limited early in the week. That’s a positive progression for a Texans offense that needs its speedster versus the No Fly Zone.

“A.J. is a young tight end who can help us immediately,” general manager John Elway said, via the team’s official website. “He has tremendous upside and will fit in well on our team.”jersey

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A sixth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Derby missed his rookie season with a knee injury. The former college quarterback opened eyes in training camp this past summer, though, hauling in 15 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown in four preseason games.

It was so exciting to see Kurt Warner — for all intents and purposes a rookie — and this stacked attack nearly double the Rams’ scoring output from the previous season (285 in 1998 to 526 in ’99). They were just going downfield all the time. This was truly a special team, and I think Dick Vermeil, who put the offense together, was really a brilliant football coach. Following up on what the ’98 Vikings offense did, these Rams — who operated with a bit more flair than Minnesota — really helped set the tone for the prolific offenses to come. Yes, the 2000 and ’01 Rams outpaced this group, but I think that success was largely carried over from this crew. The Greatest Show on Turf has produced three Hall of Famers — Warner, all-everything back Marshall Faulk and left tackle Orlando Pace — with receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt possibilities to join them in Canton. Between them, Ricky Proehl and Az-Zahir Hakim, this group was just outstanding to watch.

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“To beat the Patriots, you gotta keep Tom Brady off the field,” Sanders said on GameDay Morning. “How do you keep Tom Brady off the field? You have to be able to run the football. You gotta get Lamar Miller the ball and when you have an opportunity, you have to throw the ball down the field. We talk about low percentage throws, low percentage throws that you can complete.

“Brock Osweiler drop back, three steps let it go. Give it to Will Fuller, man. That’s how you beat these guys. You gotta keep Tom Brady off the field and you gotta be able to complete the ball down the field and cheap jerseys and make some plays. You guys can possibly pull it off, but you have a tough task ahead of yourselves.”

The 37-year-old Peters spent the past eight seasons with the Broncos climbing the ladder from scout, to assistant director of college scouting, to head of the department. Before that, he was a scout with the New England Patriots from 2003-2008.

“That will be a huge plus for John because Adam’s been in the league for a long time and knows a lot of different things,” Elway told Branch. “How to organize personnel, whether it’s on the college side or the pro side. So to have guys that know how to organize that, he’ll see how the process is run and after that it’s relatively easy. Just to have those people — to have good people around him who can teach him all those things.”

Andy and Jordan Dalton Host ‘Holiday Hearts’ Program

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While Green and Collinsworth each caught 1,000 yards and combined for 15 touchdowns as rookies, Boyd has caught only one score and is on pace for 647 yards. But he’s making his mark as a crafty slot receiver and heading into Sunday’s game at Paul Brown Stadium (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) against his hometown Steelers, Boyd is in the NFL’s top ten for third down catches with 21 and leads all rookie receivers in the category. Since A.J. Green (hamstring) has been out, Boyd is averaging five catches on any down and if he finishes the season like that he’ll have 63 balls, four shy of Collinsworth in 1981 and two shy of Green 30 years later.

Green was limited again Thursday as his prospects to play Sunday hover at 50-50. No matter for Boyd. If Steeler Week isn’t special enough around here, how about for the Pittsburgh native who grew up idolizing notorious Bengals-killer Hines Ward?

The only NFL game Bell ever saw before the Steelers took him in the second round out of Michigan State was a Bengals-Tampa Bay game in Cincinnati at the turn of the century, not that far of a drive from his Reynoldsburg home just outside Columbus.

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But this is no kid stuff. After setting the Steelers’ single-game rushing record last week in Buffalo with 236 yards, Bell has 1,616 scrimmage yards in his first ten games, the most since Jim Brown had 1,704 yards in the first 10 games of that season Pete Rozelle made his only mistake and let them play games the weekend John F. Kennedy died. A long time ago. If A.J. Green isn’t the best player in the AFC North, the 6-1, 225-pound Bell is.wholesale NFL jerseys

“I love playing against him because he makes you compete. He’s different from the other backs,” says Burfict, who has only played him twice. “He’s elusive. He’s a big guy, a strong runner, good at finding holes, good at setting up his blocks.”

Dalton is the Bengals’ nominee for the 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The sixth-year pro from Texas Christian University is among 32 team winners in contention for the league WPMOY Award, the only NFL award recognizing a player’s off-field community service and playing excellence combined.

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Dalton has been committed to giving back since his rookie season in the league. Dalton and his wife launched their foundation in 2011 with the mission to provide daily support, opportunities, resources and life-changing experiences to seriously ill and physically challenged children and their families in Cincinnati and cheap jerseys and Fort Worth. The Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation has raised $2.1 million and has reached the lives of nearly 2.5 million individuals through its five signature community outreach programs, including Holiday Hearts.

A.J. Green made it out to the field for Friday morning’s walk-through held in a crisp 18 degrees on the Paul Brown Stadium turf, but after being limited the previous two days that looks like all the Pro Bowl wide receiver is going to do because he’s listed as doubtful with his partially torn hamstring for Sunday’s game (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 5) against the Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium.

Head coach Marvin Lewis would only offer, “he’s progressed as expected,’ and that he takes into consideration both what Green is telling him and what he sees when deciding if and when he returns. With Green inactive, it makes the fourth straight game he’s been scratched, a career-high.

Peyton Manning hangs out at Miami Dolphins camp

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The last five Miami wins have been decided by seven points or less. That includes Sunday’s 31-24 win over San Francisco, a contest that ended when the Dolphins tackled 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick before he could reach the goal line on a potential game-tying touchdown.

“It is exciting to be where we’re at right now,” Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill jersey said. “Obviously you want to be playing meaningful games in December to get yourself playing in January and February, and we’ve done that. I’m not surprised because we just kind of stuck to the process. We believed in each other and just kept growing as a football team. Each and every person just doing everything they could to just improve and get better — and so, when you finally see the success and see the run, it’s not by accident. It’s because guys have stuck to the process and put in the work along the way.”jersey

Miami is already without strong safety Reshad Jones, who went on IR after just six games. When Jones jerseys and cheap jerseys and Abdul-Quddus jersey were on the field together, they offered versatility versus both the run and pass. For a few weeks, the duo looked like it could become the best safety tandem in the NFL.

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If nothing else, the game perfectly illustrated why both teams are in a tight battle for last place in the division. Miami handed the Jets a late lead thanks to a botched catch by punter Matt Darr only to gain it back again on the ensuing kickoff. A 96-yard kickoff return by Kenyan Drake was made possible thanks to … an offsides penalty on the original kickoff by Antonio Allen. Both teams were pushing 10 penalties apiece on Sunday, with the ultimate difference being a pair of ill-timed interceptions by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Jets linebacker Julian Stanford tackling a tight end on a clutch third-and-1, which earned him a pass interference penalty that helped seal the game in the process, did not help matters.

Miami is hosting the game as per the resolution approved by the clubs at the 2014 October meeting that stated that teams making a successful bid to host a Super Bowl would be required to host an international game within five years of the their successful bid.

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The Dolphins have played three previous times in London: 2007 versus the New York Giants, 2014 versus the Oakland Raiders, and 2015 versus the New York Jets. Twice (2007, 2015) Miami was designated the home team. The Dolphins are 1-2 at Wembley Stadium.

This might be one of the least surprising developments of the offseason. Of course Manning was not going to just lay around in his bathrobe like the commercials suggest. His visit to Saints camp Sunday coupled with his appearance in Miami satisfies his curiosity and also gives him plenty to do. Even if the Dolphins only ask him to check out Ryan Tannehill, which offers an incredible resource for a young quarterback who is still in developmental limbo, it scratches an itch for Manning.

In an interview at his passing academy earlier this summer, Manning said that he’d be rooting for several teams this season, including the Broncos, Dolphins, Colts, Giants, Texans and Lions. Based on his connections in all of those locations, we would not be surprised to see him turn up just about anywhere before he decides the next step.

Colts RB Frank Gore: ‘I didn’t come here for this’

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The Colts have lost four of their last five division games since the midpoint of last season, and that is at least as damning as losing a game in overtime that they had led 23-9 late in the fourth quarter. That they helped Osweiler strengthen his tenuous grip on his job for at least a week is an interesting footnote — Osweiler was 12 of 15 for 135 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, following 11 of 22 for 89 yards with an interception in the first three — but the more immediate problem for the Colts is a confounding lack of a killer instinct. As a result, the Colts are 2-4, hardly dead in the middling AFC South, but in last place for now and searching for some way out of the morass that is the division standings and their own mental torpor.

This game showed the Colts’ many limitations on a day where Andrew Luck was not at his best. Luck was hit a ton and turned the ball over three times, although only one of those turnovers was his fault — a particularly ugly interception where he tried to force a pass. Colts receivers other than T.Y. Hilton failed to make tough catches all day and the Colts didn’t trust their running game. (Frank Gore jersey had 10 rushes for 41 yards.) These looked like two teams lucky to be in any playoff race.wholesale NFL jerseys

“Like I told (the players), there is no margin for error,” the coach said. “We have had our ups and had our downs, and that’s life in the NFL. That’s life in general. It’s all how you respond, so I expect these guys to respond like they usually do.”

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The Texans currently own the easiest remaining schedule in the division, based on remaining opponent win percentage this season. Houston’s opponents have a .384 winning percentage (2nd easiest in NFL). The Colts have the 21st toughest strength of schedule at .473. The Titans sit at 15th with .523.

Indy has been in every game this season, but the fatally flawed team has faltered when it mattered. Losing a 14-point lead with under seven minutes to go last week in Houston was the microcosm of the season.

The heat on coach Chuck Pagano jersey and cheap jerseys and general manager Ryan Grigson jersey has increased as the disappointment mounts in Indianapolis. Irsay, however, defended his coach and GM duo, both of whom received contract extensions this offseason.

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According to Doyle, while the rest of the players talked in platitudes about getting back to work and putting the loss behind them, Gore seemed frustrated almost to tears.

With the loss, the Colts fell to last place in the AFC South. In the cellar of the worst division in the NFL isn’t a place that a team with playoff aspirations should find itself six games into the season.

Adrian Peterson’s long-awaited return was anticlimactic. Sporting a brace on his surgically repaired knee, the seven-time Pro Bowler managed just 22 yards on six carries, losing a red-zone fumble at the tail end of his longest run (13 yards). Although Peterson functioned as the primary early-down back until the game was out of hand, he never had a chance to reach second gear behind Minnesota’s anemic offensive line. Vikings fans hoping for a savior in problematic short-yardage situations didn’t get a chance to see Peterson in that role.

Cleveland Browns planning to release Josh Gordon

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The wide receiver announced Thursday that he was entering rehab in an effort to “gain full control of my life.” Gordon is eligible to play in the Browns’ Week 5 contest against the New England Patriots as part of the terms of his NFL reinstatement for a substance abuse violation. Gordon’s decision to enter rehab, however, puts his comeback on hold indefinitely.

“After careful thought and deep consideration I’ve decided that I need to step away from pursuing my return to the Browns and my football career to enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility,” Gordon wrote. “This is the right decision for me and one that I hope will enable me to gain full control of my life and continue on a path to reach my full potential as a person. I appreciate the support of the NFL, NFLPA, the Browns, my teammates, my agent and the community through this extremely challenging process.”

It’s the decision we expected from Jackson, who anointed Griffin as Cleveland’s starter before the season opener. Recently activated off injured reserve, the veteran quarterback hasn’t appeared in a game since suffering a broken bone in his non-throwing shoulder in that ill-fated Week 1 loss to the Eagles.

Since then, the Browns have turned to a hodgepodge of passers — rookies Cody Kessler jersey and cheap jerseys and Kevin Hogan jersey, old-as-the-trees Josh McCown and even quarterback-turned-wideout Terrelle Pryor — to throw the ball for a club still searching for its first win.jersey

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While we know with relative certainty that the Browns will not win the remainder of their games this season — I think Pryor knows that, too — it’s important to focus on his attitude. As fans, and sometimes players, become wiser to the process-driven rebuilding projects around the league, there seems to be less of a moribund attitude surrounding 0-3 teams. On Tuesday, the Around The NFL crew debated which 0-3 team they’d rather be a fan of at this point in the season — and it was sometimes easier to find reasons to get on board with the Browns jersey or Jaguars than the more established Saints or Bears.

The weight of a long losing season could eventually take its toll on the Browns, though this team has already seen two years’ worth of bad news crash into the facility in a matter of weeks. Their starting and backup quarterbacks are gone. The quarterback they passed on at No. 2 is apparently Peyton Manning pre-snap and Aaron Rodgers post-snap. The player they drafted instead, wide receiver Corey Coleman, broke his hand after a breakout week.

On Monday, Cleveland weatherman Scott Sabol shaved his beard. It ended a 108-day odyssey that began when Sabol decided he wouldn’t pick up his razor until the hometown Browns won a game.

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This could have turned real ugly if Josh Lambo’s field goal went straight. But it did not … and Sabol’s face was freed from the tyranny of overgrowth.

The Browns learned this lesson back in 2004, when they felt comfortable enough with the combination of Tim Couch and a 34-year-old Jeff Garcia to pass on Ben Roethlisberger in the draft.

Picking sixth, Cleveland coach Butch Davis oversaw a war room that opted instead for tight end Kellen Winslow II, sending Big Ben on a slide down the board until the Steelers drafted him with the eleventh overall pick.

A trade became increasingly likely after the Browns declined to pick up Mingo’s fifth-year option back in April. It became even more likely after the Browns reunited Mingo with his first NFL defensive coordinator, Ray Horton, in 2016. Horton likely knew Mingo’s limitations in the scheme and preferred to pivot in another direction with a platoon of young pass rushers coming in via the draft.

It will be interesting to see what, exactly, New England’s plans are for Mingo, who has been reluctant to discuss his weight ever since he was drafted. The buzz on him this offseason was that he packed on more muscle than ever, though that didn’t seem to clear the way for a starting role in Cleveland’s new-look defense. Mingo seems personally invested in salvaging his NFL career and he might have found the perfect place to do it.

eSean McCoy active for Buffalo Bills versus Dolphins

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The Bills spent the first two-and-a-half quarters pounding away at Oakland with the NFL’s top-ranked ground game. Controlling both sides of the ball, Buffalo seemed poise to put the cherry on top of a Rex Ryan masterpiece after running Mike Gillislee barreled into the end zone to forge a 24-9 lead with 9:01 to play in the third quarter.

Gillislee and fellow runner LeSean McCoy jersey led a ferocious run attack that ripped through the Raiders for 212 yards — only to dry up when it mattered most. After Gillislee punched it in, Buffalo bumbled their way to three straight punts and a pick while Oakland’s offense poured on the points.

The electric pass-catcher signed a contract with the Bills last month following an offseason spent pondering his retirement. After appearing in just two games, though, Harvin succumbed to severe migraine headaches that kept him out of Buffalo’s past two tilts.

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Harvin has dealt with migraines throughout his career — a career that now appears over after seven years in the NFL with the Vikings, Seahawks, Jets and cheap jerseys and Bills jersey. The 2009 first-rounder also missed a rash of games in previous campaigns due to a chronic hip injury.jersey

McCoy was listed as questionable after leaving practice early on Wednesday with hamstring tightness. Shady missed practice Thursday and was limited Friday.

Expect McCoy’s snaps to be limited in Miami. Shady has played 75.8 percent of Bills snaps through six games, an average of 47.5 per contest — that number could be cut in half.

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He tends to hold the ball too long, fails to work the middle of the field effectively, and runs hot and cold with his accuracy. On the other hand, he’s the most effective running quarterback in the league — keying the Bills’ top-ranked ground attack — and throws a pretty deep ball.

Moreover, Ryan has no viable alternative. EJ Manuel jersey, the organization’s top draft pick in 2013, has the same weaknesses as Taylor — only to a greater degree. Although offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn recent raved about No. 3 quarterback Cardale Jones as the kind of prospect “you want waiting on the runway,” the fifth-round rookie simply isn’t ready to run an NFL offense after starting just 11 games in college.

Which takes us to Orchard Park, where the start of the second half of Sunday’s Steelers-Bills game was delayed when a buildup of rubber pellets left the field unplayable. The pellets accumulated as the New Era Stadium grounds crew attempted to clear snow from the field at halftime.

Dwight Freeney signs contract with Atlanta Falcons

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Matt Ryan is having the season of a lifetime, posting career highs in passer rating, passing yards per game and same-sentence mentions with Tom Brady. While Julio Jones remains the go-to fixture in Matty Ice’s attack, the Falcons’ offense is getting it done with a new cast of stars, including Mohamed Sanu, Austin Hooper jersey and cheap jerseys and Tevin Coleman jersey, who’s developed into a dual-threat dynamo. Plus, Atlanta has so far avoided the post-undefeated-start collapse that befell last year’s team and sits in prime position to take the NFC South and contend in a competitive conference.

He completed 23 of 35 passes for 223 yards with a late TD to Demaryius Thomas and an interception. He was sacked a half-dozen times, including 3½ times by outside linebacker Vic Beasley, who burned right tackle Ty Sambrailo on three of those takedowns.

Lynch’s footwork was a mess and his overthrows and misfires ruined any chance the Broncos had of capitalizing on the league’s 30th ranked defense, including the NFL‘s next-to-last pass defense and a patchwork linebacker corps.jersey

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The seven-time Pro Bowler visited both teams in May, while holding out hope that the Cardinals would reciprocate his interest in a reunion.

Signed off the street in mid-October last season, Freeney was a revelation in Arizona, using his trademark spin move to rack up a team-leading eight sacks in just 11 games. That campaign brought his total numbers to 119.5 sacks in 194 games over 14 seasons.

But if the club has serious interest drafting in the UCLA star linebacker, it’s willingness to trade up would need to be equally serious. Jack is visiting the Falcons on Thursday, according to ESPN. The Falcons, drafting No. 17 overall, are at least a dozen picks away from Jack’s common projection as a top-five pick. Of course, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff isn’t a stranger to making a bold move up the draft board.

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It’s not the first time a club to whom Jack is unlikely to fall in the first round of the draft has brought him in for a visit. The Chicago Bears, with the No. 11 overall pick, hosted Jack a week ago.

The Falcons lead the NFL in scoring offense (34.7 points per game) and total offense (448.0 yards per game) while also ranking within the top five in rushing offense (136.0 yards per game) and passing offense (312.0 yards per game). The attack is clicking on all cylinders and maximizing the talents of every playmaker in the lineup.

Starting with the quarterback, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan jersey has tweaked his scheme to help Ryan regain his Pro Bowl form. The wily play designer has constructed a complementary misdirection passing game that perfectly matches the zone-based running concepts that have become a staple of the Falcons’ offensive attack. From the stretch-bootleg passes out of various run-heavy sets to traditional play-action concepts with intermediate and vertical routes, Ryan has been thriving in a scheme built on deception and backfield illusions.