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Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Wake-up: Bengals' Johnson in walking boot

By Jamison Hensley

With the big game between division leaders Denver and Baltimore, there will be a special "Double Coverage" post at 11 a.m. It's a discussion between AFC West blogger Bill Williamson and myself on some of the storylines for Sunday. Also, the AFC North weekly chat will kick off at 2 p.m. today. Please don't pull a Mendenhall and fail to show up. Now let's start off with the wake-up call ...

RAVENS: The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck says all eyes are on quarterback Joe Flacco after the firing of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. "Now, we're finally going to find out whether it was Cameron who was holding Flacco back or the other way around," Schmuck wrote. "The only thing that was obvious was that Flacco was no longer progressing under Cameron and the Ravens attack had become inconsistent and incoherent. The responsibility for all that logically falls on the offensive coordinator, because he's the guy running the show, but there are two sides to this story and one of them is still to be told."

STEELERS: First-round pick David DeCastro could make his NFL debut with the Steelers looking to replace injured guard Willie Colon. DeCastro, who hasn't played in his rookie season after tearing his medial collateral ligament in the third preseason game, will be worked in at right guard during practice this week and could start Sunday at Dallas, coach Mike Tomlin said. Ramon Foster, the starting right guard, would then shift to the left side. "We're ready to take the next step," Tomlin said, via the Associated Press. "Potentially, this week -- depending on how that preparation looks."

BENGALS: Starting defensive end Michael Johnson missed practice Tuesday with a toe injury and is now in a walking boot. That's not a good sign with the Bengals playing at the Eagles on Thursday night, although coach Marvin Lewis wasn't pessimistic when asked about Johnson. "We’ll see how he is," Lewis said, via The Cincinnati Enquirer. "He felt pretty good." Maybe Lewis' outlook comes from the fact that Johnson has never missed a game. Johnson has recorded a career-high 8.5 sacks this season.

BROWNS: Linebacker Scott Fujita, who maintained his innocence throughout the Saints' bounty scandal, saw his name cleared in the ruling of former commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Tagliabue concluded that Fujita only took part in a "non-injury" pay-for-performance pool. "I affirm Commissioner Goodell's factual findings as to the four players. I conclude that [Anthony] Hargrove, [Will] Smith and [Jonathan] Vilma -- but not Fujita -- engaged in 'conduct detrimental to the integrity of, and public confidence in, the game of professional football,' " the ruling said. Fujita is out for the season with a potentially career-threatening neck injury.