AFC North notes: Polamalu feeling better

September, 30, 2012
9/30/12
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The Ravens and Browns played Thursday. The Steelers are on their bye. That means all of the pressure of upholding the good name of the division rests on the Bengals today.

Before we start Who Dey Sunday, let's take a look at what is happening around the division:

BENGALS: The team signed Chris Lewis-Harris from the practice squad because of the run of injuries at the cornerback spot. The only healthy corners are Terence Newman and Adam Jones. Lewis-Harris, an undrafted rookie out of Tennessee-Chattanooga, played in all four preseason games for Cincinnati and finished with 13 tackles and one sack. To make room, the Bengals cut tight end Richard Quinn. ... Jones isn't happy that he got fined $15,000 for a horse-collar tackle. So you can imagine his reaction when the NFL fined him $75,000 before this season for an incident during the 2011 lockout in a Cincinnati bar that got settled. Jones revealed the bigger fine to the team's website as well as his pessimism toward the appeals process. "Adam Jones has never won an appeal with the NFL," Jones said.

BROWNS: Head coach Pat Shurmur said the Browns are committed to helping wide receiver Greg Little eliminate the dropped passes. "[It's] everything from philosophically how you approach catching the football to practicing it, there's a lot," Shurmur said, via The Plain Dealer. "I've seen it before where young players work through this and become legitimate catchers in this league." Little has had the biggest problem holding onto the ball for the Browns over the past two seasons. But he wasn't the only one letting down quarterback Brandon Weeden. According to Pro Football Focus, the Browns dropped at least seven passes against the Ravens.

RAVENS: Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed was fined $21,000 for his hit on Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch in last Sunday's game, according to The Baltimore Sun. Reed, who was flagged for a personal foul, was ruled to have "struck a defenseless player in the head and neck area." This was a big week for fines in the AFC North. Steelers safety Ryan Mundy ($21,000) and the Bengals' Jones ($15,000) also will have lighter paychecks.

STEELERS: Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the injured calf that has sidelined him the past two games "feels much better." Polamalu returned to practice Tuesday and worked both days with the first-team defense before players got the weekend off for the bye. He said that he's "optimistic" he will play against the Eagles on Oct. 7. It looks like the Steelers will get Polamalu back but they likely will have to wait another week or two for linebacker James Harrison.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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