Morning take: Benson's long road back

Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker

Here are the most interesting stories Thursday in the AFC North:

  • Cincinnati Bengals tailback Cedric Benson has taken a long road back to facing his former team Sunday in the Chicago Bears.

Morning take: Benson says the Bears talked bad about him recently, which Chicago denies. That adds another interesting angle to what is a big game for both teams.

  • Minnesota Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson will try to have a big game against the tough defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Morning take: If any back can have a big day against the Steelers, it’s Peterson. We will take a further look at the Minnesota star later today (hint, hint).

Morning take: Jackson had pectoral surgery and will be out for three months. He’s also a free agent, and it will be interesting to see if he remains part of Cleveland's rebuilding process.

  • Can Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco make the Pro Bowl this year?

Morning take: You have to assume annual stalwarts Peyton Manning and Tom Brady get in, which leaves one spot for a lot of talented throwers. There are three alone in the AFC North to be considered right now in Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer.