Thursday, August 15, 2013
Wake-up: A.J. Green returns to practice
By Jamison Hensley
LATROBE, Pa. -- It's a busy Thursday in the AFC North. I will wrap up my visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers and put together a Camp Confidential post, which will run Friday. Plus, there's two teams in the division, the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns, who will play their second preseason game tonight. Let's begin, though, with the wake-up call ...
RAVENS: Outside linebackers Elvis Dumervil and Courtney Upshaw have rotated with the first-team defense throughout training camp and in the preseason opener. They're also listed as co-starters on the depth chart. “They’ll all play,” Baltimore defensive coordinator Dean Pees said, via The Carroll County Times. “They all have a role on this team, and we’ll just see. … It’s a game-to-game thing, and a lot of it depends on the packages that we have in and what we’re doing for that particular game. They’re all good players, and they’re all going to play.”
BENGALS: Wide receiver A.J. Green returned to practice after sitting out nearly three weeks with a bruised knee. He participated in non-contract drills only, and likely won't play in Saturday's preseason game. "I am back to 100 percent," Green said, via The Associated Press. "They just don't want to throw me back just like this. As the days go on, I am going to work my way back into them." Green bruised his left knee while trying to make a sideline catch during the first practice of training camp on July 25.
STEELERS: Bruce Gradkowski, a Pittsburgh native, is replacing Charlie Batch, who was the backup for the hometown team for the past 11 seasons. "Everyone loves Charlie Batch," Gradkowski told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I'm not trying to come in and take anyone's place or be anyone else. Even my mom and them say, 'We love Charlie.' Charlie is a great guy, I asked him for advice in the past. He's a guy to lean on." Gradkowski has bounced around five teams over the past seven years before returning home.
BROWNS: The injury woes continue for backup running back Montario Hardesty. The 2010 second-round pick will miss the first two to three regular-season games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Thursday, a source told The Plain Dealer. Coach Rob Chudzinski declined to speculate about Hardesty's future. "We'll just to see when he gets back and balance that with the other guys and how they're doing and how they've done in the next couple of weeks," he said. Dion Lewis is expected to become the primary backup to Trent Richardson.