Wake-up: Nugent questionable for Bengals

December, 18, 2012
12/18/12
7:00
AM ET
It's Tuesday here on the blog, which means power rankings and the division quarterback report card. A spoiler alert: Don't expect much good news for the AFC North on the rankings or report card. But that's how it's been going these days for the division. Here's your wake-up call ...

RAVENS: Inside linebacker Jameel McClain is out for the rest of the season with a spinal cord contusion. "He will not have time to heal before the end of the season," coach John Harbaugh said, according to The Baltimore Sun. The Ravens are already without two of their other top inside linebackers, Ray Lewis (triceps) and Dannell Ellerbe (ankle). Baltimore would start Josh Bynes and Brendon Ayanbadejo for a second straight week if all remain sidelined.

BENGALS: Kicker Mike Nugent isn't sure whether he's going to be ready for the Steelers game. He has missed the past two weeks with a right calf injury. "It's one of those things you keep trying to go out there and make it feel better every day," Nugent told the team's official website. "It feels better every day. Treatment and time." Josh Brown has made all six of his field goals in Nugent's absence.

STEELERS: The Steelers need to win their final two games to reach the playoffs. But Pittsburgh has only won once since Nov. 12. "We can still get in, that's our goal," linebacker Larry Foote said, via The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "We're making it hard on ourselves, but it's still reachable. We can't look at two; we have to look at one. That's going to be a big challenge, playing Cincinnati at our house. I expect Pittsburgh to be crazy. We have to take a playoff approach. We can't lose." The Steelers also announced that they have reinstated running back Rashard Mendenhall after his one-game suspension.

BROWNS: The Browns surprisingly waived cornerback Dimitri Patterson, who signed a new deal in March that included $6 million guaranteed. The team wasn't happy with Patterson missing seven games with a high ankle sprain and thought Buster Skrine was better when he returned, according to ESPN Radio in Cleveland. Also, coach Pat Shurmur talked to Trent Richardson about the running back's post-game criticism of the game plan. "I asked him what he meant by what he said," Shurmur said, via The Plain Dealer. "I said it's very important that when we're all in a state of being disappointed that we lost that we keep our focus on, No. 1, regrouping and getting ready to play the next game."

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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AFC NORTH SCOREBOARD