AFC North afternoon notes

November, 29, 2011
11/29/11
4:37
PM ET
Here are some happenings from around the division:

BENGALS: The team announced that outside linebacker Keith Rivers will remain on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list, which ends his season. Rivers, the ninth overall pick of the 2008 draft, underwent wrist surgery in July. This doesn't come as a surprise to the Bengals, who signed veteran Thomas Howard as his replacement before the season. It will be interesting to see who the Bengals start at outside linebacker next season because Howard has been a strength of the defense this year.

BROWNS: The team waived struggling long-snapper Ryan Pontbriand after he cost the Browns chances at two victories over the past three games, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Pontbriand, 32, was the second-longest tenured Browns player on the roster (kicker Phil Dawson ranks first). According to The Plain Dealer, Christian Yount (2011 undrafted rookie out of UCLA) is the new long snapper. The team also placed linebacker Scott Fujita and defensive end Emmanuel Stephens on injured reserve.

RAVENS: While it's not a major addition, the team signed center Cecil Newton to its practice squad. The interesting part of the move is the fact that Newton is the older brother of Carolina rookie quarterback Cam Newton. Cecil Newton went undrafted out of Tennessee State and originally signed with Jacksonville. In other news, the Ravens claimed defensive back Emmanuel Cook after getting waived by the Jets.

STEELERS: Head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters that he intends to use both Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown as punt and kickoff returners. Sanders took all four kickoff returns Sunday night, averaging a forgettable 19.3 yards per runback. "We’ve done it less this year, primarily due to the health of Emmanuel," Tomlin said today on rotating Sanders and Brown as returners. "He appears to be moving in the right direction in regards to that. So we just want to keep both of those men in play, not only as kickoff return men but punt return men as well."

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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AFC NORTH SCOREBOARD