Saturday, August 17, 2013
Wake-up: Le'Veon Bell returns to practice
By Jamison Hensley
Let's check out what is happening around the AFC North in Saturday's wake-up call ...
RAVENS: Coach John Harbaugh was critical of the Ravens' run defense in Thursday's preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. Baltimore gave up 170 yards rushing, and Steven Jackson had 42 yards in the first half. "It wasn't the fact that we were getting knocked around," Harbaugh said, via The Baltimore Sun. "It was the fact that we didn't do a good job of playing team run defense, and you have to do that. One can't be upfield, and one guy can't run behind the block. We're better than that, and I think our guys are so excited to play that they lost track of their fundamentals a little bit. The good news is those are things you can correct overnight, but it has to get done if we're going to be the team that we hope to be."
BENGALS: The Bengals are trying to improve the accuracy of quarterback Josh Johnson, who is battling John Skelton for the backup job. Johnson has a career 54.2 completion rate. "It's not like I've never been accurate," Johnson told the team's official website. "It's just my body position in the pocket allowed defenders to get up on me, and I had to alter my throws a lot. Here, I'm more ready to get the ball out on time quicker, and if a defender is in my face, I'm able to move a lot quicker with my body position." The Bengals play their second preseason game Saturday night.
STEELERS: Rookie running back Le'Veon Bell returned to practice Friday, one day after aggravating a left knee injury. He participated in non-contact work with the other running backs but sat out all team drills. "He's got a clean bill of health, so it's time to get back out here and start the process of readying himself for the game like all other healthy men," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, via The Associated Press. The Steelers' next preseason game is Monday. Bell is listed as co-starter with Isaac Redman on the team's depth chart.
BROWNS: First-round pick Barkevious Mingo's bruised lung is "very, very unusual" and should keep him sidelined at least two to three weeks, a thoracic surgeon told The Plain Dealer. Under that timetable, Mingo could miss the Sept. 8 season opener against the Miami Dolphins. The rookie outside linebacker remains hospitalized at the Cleveland Clinic at least until Saturday. "There wasn't some huge hit that would lead you to believe that's when it happened," coach Rob Chudzinski said. "I’m not sure at what point it happened in the game, whether it was one particular hit, or a combinations of hits."