Training camps around the division are wrapping up, which is just another sign that we're getting closer to the regular season. The Steelers played a preseason game Sunday night, and you can click here to read my thoughts on it. If you want to move forward, here's your wake-up call:
BENGALS: Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, the team's top pick in the 2012 draft, made an appearance on the last day that training camp practices were open to the public. This was special because few have seen Kirkpatrick on the field since the Bengals drafted him 17th overall in April. He missed time this offseason with a hamstring injury, and he's been on the non-football injury list since camp started after injuring his left knee in an early July workout. “I’m not too much far behind, but I would be telling a lie if I told you I was perfectly there,” Kirkpatrick told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I got time to mature. I am not going to let this stress me.” Hopefully it won't stress him out that he's not playing in this week's preseason game. The Bengals want to get him some snaps in the preseason finale.
BROWNS: Backup quarterback Colt McCoy is committed to the Browns and doesn't want to leave. "You hear all of the rumors," McCoy told The Cleveland Plain Dealer. "But no one has said anything to me yet, and there's no place I'd rather be than here. I'm invested in this city and this team, and I wouldn't have it any other way." Whether the Browns are committed to McCoy is really what matters. Head coach Pat Shurmur said he won't decide on a backup quarterback until after the preseason is over. "I don't see a real urgency right now to settle that," Shurmur said. As I've written before, McCoy is the better choice over Seneca Wallace because he's cheaper, younger and just as experienced as a starter.
RAVENS: Tight ends Ed Dickson (shoulder) and Dennis Pitta (hand) remain optimistic that they'll be ready for the Sept. 10 season opener against Cincinnati. Dickson has been able to start catching passes, which is something Pitta can't do because of his broken hand. There is no timetable for when Pitta can start doing that again. “With the hand, you’ve got to let the bone heal," Pitta told The Baltimore Sun. “We’re being smart with it and making sure that we’re doing all we can at the proper time." Here's why the Ravens need Dickson and Pitta healthy to start the season: the other three tight ends have combined to catch four passes for 29 total yards in the preseason.
STEELERS: When you hear the Steelers have an injury, you know it's either going to be a running back or a linebacker. This time, it's the latter. Backup inside linebacker Stevenson Sylvester will be out three to four weeks after tearing the medial collateral ligament in his knee, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. If you're keeping count at home, Sylvester is the third injured linebacker, joining James Harrison (knee) and Jason Worilds (wrist). When asked Sunday night about the chances of Harrison playing in the season opener, head coach Mike Tomlin said, "I'm always optimistic. That doesn't necessarily mean he's going to be ready. We're just taking it day to day and we're going to let his recuperation dictate how we proceed. He's always been a fast healer and we'll keep that attitude."