Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC North [Print without images]

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Wake-up: Spence hopes to play this year

By Jamison Hensley

Updates on injuries and a federal investigation. It's what you have come to expect from your offseason wake-up call ...

RAVENS: Defensive tackle Brandon Williams had a “crazy and humbling" journey to becoming a third-round pick, one that also included him being homeless for a brief period during his freshman year of high school and working a job for three years during college where his primary responsibilities were lifting, loading, cleaning and delivering portable toilets. Then, five years ago, he had spinal meningitis from back surgery, which also led to his spinal fluid sac getting torn. Williams told the Carroll County (Md.) Times: “The doctor told me, though, ‘If you would’ve waited until the next day to come in, you wouldn’t have made it to the hospital. You wouldn’t have woken up because it was just leaking and just coming out.'”

BENGALS: Cornerback Adam Jones could miss the remainder of offseason workouts, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Last week, the team's official website reported that Jones tweaked his calf during practice. It's another offseason where the Bengals are dealing with a banged-up cornerback group. Along with Jones, Leon Hall (thumb) and Dre Kirkpatrick (knee) are recovering from injuries. Terence Newman and Brandon Ghee, a third-round pick in 2010, have been working with the first team at cornerback.

STEELERS: Linebacker Sean Spence hopes to play in 2013, although he isn't targeting a specific timeframe. His prediction that comes a month after linebackers coach Keith Butler said it would be "miraculous" if the third-round pick recovered to play in 2014. Last preseason, he tore two knee ligaments and suffered nerve damage behind the knee. Spence told reporters Wednesday that he can run. "I know I'm going to beat the odds,'' Spence said, via The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I'm not even worried about that. The progress that I have made, the doctors say that I've already beat the odds. I'm just keeping my faith in God and knowing he's going to give me another chance."

BROWNS: The attorney for Browns owner Jimmy Haslam called the guilty pleas by two Pilot Flying J employees "regrettable" and insisted Haslam had "no knowledge" of fraud at his family-run truck stop business. The lawyer told News Net 5 in Cleveland that he's "very confident" that those who have entered guilty pleas will "tell the truth" in regard to his client and any suggestion of involvement is "non-existent." The defense attorney for regional sales director Arnold Ralenkotter, one of the two employees who pleaded guilty Wednesday, declined to say how Ralenkotter would be cooperating, what he knows and whether Haslam knew that employees were withholding rebates from trucking companies.