Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Wake-up call: Browns may rest Richardson
By Jamison Hensley
There's a theme for the Tuesday wake-up call. All four teams are addressing lineup changes, whether it's the Ravens offensive line, the Steelers' running backs, Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga or Browns running back Trent Richardson. Let's take a look:
RAVENS: One change coming out of the Ravens' bye could come on the offensive line, which coach John Harbaugh called a "work in progress." The Ravens have given up 18 sacks, the fifth-most in the league. "I would guess we’re going to roll some guys in there and see how they do," Harbaugh said, via the team's official website. "Let’s take a look at some young guys, and see how they do. Let’s keep the veterans available and let them play a little bit." Baltimore could rotate Ramon Harewood, who had started earlier this year, with veteran Bobbie Williams at left guard. The other two young backups are tackle Jah Reid and center-guard Gino Gradkowski.
STEELERS: It was redemption time for running back Jonathan Dwyer on Sunday night. He had a costly fumble at Oakland on Sept. 23, which led to him being inactive for the next two games. “Coach put it on the board for everyone to know that he wasn’t playing that weekend,” right guard Ramon Foster told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I’m glad to see him respond.” In his first game back, Dwyer didn't let this opportunity slip from his grasp, rushing for 122 yards and averaging 7.2 yards per carry against the Bengals. The Steelers’ 167 rushing yards were their most in eight games dating to last season.
BENGALS: Coach Marvin Lewis isn't replacing middle linebacker Rey Maualuga during the bye even though he had another disappointing performance Sunday night. His most noticeable mistake was being out of position on the game-sealing 32-yard run by Dwyer in the fourth quarter. "He didn't play as well as he played over the last couple weeks, but some of it, it looks like he's not playing as well because other people aren't doing what they're supposed to be doing and he's actually doing what he is (supposed to be) doing most of the time," Lewis said, via CBS Sports. "Unfortunately, the last run of the game he decides he's going to be Superman and get out of his responsibility." According to Pro Football Focus, Maualuga ranks among the top five linebackers with nine missed tackles.
BROWNS: Rookie running back Trent Richardson may sit out more than the second half this week. Head coach Pat Shurmur said he will evaluate Richardson's rib injury and didn't rule out sitting him for Sunday's game against the Chargers. "You just watch him, watch him practice, see where he's at physically and if he's ready to play, he'll play," Shurmur said, via The Plain Dealer. "If we see that this is bothering him to the point where he can't perform, then we'll make those decisions as we go." In other news, the Browns placed Jason Pinkston on injured reserve, ending the starting left guard's season. He discovered Thursday that he has a blood clot in his lung.