Friday, August 31, 2012
Wake-up: Bengals' Dalton survives scare
By Jamison Hensley
It's a quick turnaround after watching four preseason games at once Thursday night. I'm not complaining about my job, especially not today. By the end of Friday, there will over 80 football players currently in this division who will be without theirs. Every team has to get its 75-man roster down to 53 players by 9 p.m. Some might get picked up elsewhere and others could rejoin the team by signing with the practice squad. The AFC North blog will have an analysis of the final cutdown for the Bengals, Browns, Ravens and Steelers when the moves are announced. But you know the daily drill. It's on to the wake-up call:
BENGALS: There are no signs that the Bengals are worried about Andy Dalton's bruised arm, which forced the quarterback to the sideline after six plays. According to the team's official website, Dalton had no ice or towel or anything on the arm. The most encouraging news is that coach Marvin Lewis said he would've put Dalton back into the game if the game counted. "I'll be fine," Dalton said. "I would have done everything I could to stay in. Fortunately I didn't have to worry about that this week. I'm ready for next week."
BROWNS: In an exclusive interview with The Plain Dealer, Browns new owner Jimmy Haslam was asked if he would have a hand in football decisions. "When I’ve gone to see the other owners, that’s the kind of question I’ve asked them," he said. "I asked [Giants owner] John Mara, because he’s got a great coach, a great GM, what is your role in those decisions? He said, ‘I sit in a lot of the meetings and I’m the tiebreaker.’" Haslam continued to decline to talk about front office and coaching decisions until he takes over, which presumably will happen in late October.
RAVENS: Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he is "concerned" about linebacker Courtney Upshaw's right shoulder, which was reinjured in the second quarter. According to The Baltimore Sun, the Ravens' top pick of the 2012 draft jogged off the field favoring his shoulder and did not return to the game. Upshaw is scheduled for an MRI on Friday. He was expected to help the Ravens' pass rush in the absence of Terrell Suggs. Upshaw didn't talk to reporters after the game but he posted this on Twitter: "From here on out, I'm approaching everything I do in a way where when I'm done, I know no one out-worked me on and off the field."
STEELERS: Head coach Mike Tomlin called Sean Spence's left knee injury "significant" after the game. Spence, a rookie third-round linebacker, was carted off the field in the third quarter and was transported to a local hospital, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. That leaves the Steelers without their top two backups at inside linebacker. Stevenson Sylvester sprained the MCL in his knee in the final training camp practice and is not expected to return until at least the second game of the season. Brandon Johnson, a special-teams player who moved from outside to inside linebacker for the second preseason game, is likely the top backup.