Wake-up: Roethlisberger is out of sling

November, 22, 2012
11/22/12
8:00
AM ET
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the AFC North blog family. I'm going to be enjoying the holiday with my wife and son, but I will be putting up Thanksgiving-themed posts throughout the day. It will be on the one player that each division team is thankful for. You can guess my selection for each team or just wait until the posts go up on the site. Here's the wake-up call ...

RAVENS: Running back Ray Rice apologized to anyone who was offended by him wearing a Terrible Towel on his head after Sunday night's game. He got the towel from a fan at Heinz Field in exchange for his gloves. “I didn’t stomp it or do anything wrong,” Rice said, via the team's official website. “I actually walked out with it and I think I’m going to save it and put it in my basement to cherish the rivalry.” Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley thought Rice crossed the line by draping the Terrible Towel over his head. “Should I be worried about a bounty alert or something?," Rice asked. "I don’t think they’re going that far."

STEELERS: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is no longer wearing the sling he had to protect his shoulder and rib injury. He moved his right arm normally and didn’t appear to be in significant pain, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Steelers haven't given any timetable on his return, but Roethlisberger is expected to miss the next two games. Meanwhile, wide receiver Antonio Brown and rookie right guard David DeCastro surprisingly practiced. Brown, who was limited with an ankle injury, isn't expected to play Sunday. DeCastro practiced for the first time since he severely injured his right knee in late August. Also, wide receiver Plaxico Burress is happy to be back with the Steelers after an eight-year absence. He told Steelers fans to dust off their No. 80 jerseys and make sure it still fits.

BENGALS: Carson Palmer couldn't say what the exact moment was when he decided he needed to leave the Bengals, but he left some hints during his conference call with Cincinnati reporters. “Just a culmination of things," Palmer said, via CBS Sports. “Some things that I had learned that ownership -- just some things that built up over time, and it was just time for a change.” Palmer didn't expound on his thoughts on the conference call but he did go further with the Oakland media. “I think that anybody that's ever played for that ownership knows what I was doing and why I was doing it,” Palmer said.

BROWNS: Rookie running back Trent Richardson took the blame for Sunday's loss at Dallas, pointing to his inability to score from the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter. He tried to leap over the pile instead of hitting the hole. "You can put the game on me. I'm a man," Richardson said, via The Plain Dealer. "I'm going to man up to my mistakes and my faults. No man is scared away of his own faults or decision-making. I made my decision and I messed up. That happens when you make decisions right on the run. It just happens." There's plenty of blame to go around for the loss, but you still have to admire Richardson stepping up and taking accountability. The Browns need more players with Richardson's mentality to turn around this franchise.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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