AFC North: Delone Carter

If Week 3 of the preseason is truly a dress rehearsal for the regular season, the AFC North teams have some work to do. All four division teams lost, and most of the starters had forgettable performances. Speaking of losing, the AFC North wake-up call will no longer have the Steelers in this space every morning. Steelers team reporter Scott Brown now will provide a post with morning links for the Black and Gold. So, let's see what is happening with the two Ohio teams and the franchise that used to located in Ohio:

RAVENS: Running back Delone Carter has only a few days of practice and the preseason finale to prove he's worth a roster spot. He was acquired by the Ravens last week in a trade with Indianapolis, and is looking to make the team as the No. 3 running back. "It's a hurried evaluation, that's what it is," coach John Harbaugh said, via The Baltimore Sun. "We're going to have to see if we see enough. That's what it really boils down to. First impressions are positive, and we'll just see where it goes this week." ... For a look at the roster cuts made by the Ravens on Sunday, you can click here.

BENGALS: Right tackle Andre Smith left in the second quarter of Saturday's preseason game with a left knee injury. According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, Smith appeared to be walking fine in the locker room after the game. “He should be ready to go for [the season opener against] Chicago,” coach Marvin Lewis said. ... The Bengals released six players Sunday: tight end Richard Quinn, defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga, wide receiver Jheranie Boyd, cornerback Terrence Brown, linebacker Jordan Campbell and kicker-punter Quinn Sharp. The team needs to make six more moves to get down to the league limit of 75 players by Tuesday afternoon.

BROWNS: Kicker Shayne Graham and punter Spencer Lanning are leading the candidates to remain the Browns' specialists, but coach Rob Chudzinski wouldn't fully commit to them just yet, according to The Akron Beacon Journal. Graham made field goals of 50 and 44 yards against the Colts while undrafted rookie kicker Brandon Bogotay sat out with a strained groin. "It was good to see him be able to do that," Chudzinski said of Graham's 50-yard kick. ... According to The Plain Dealer, Chudzinski is leaning toward playing his starters in the preseason finale, although it may be just a cameo appearance. "We’re going to approach this next game that those guys are going to play," he said. "And then I’ll make that determination later in the week as it goes on.”
The Baltimore Ravens traded wide receiver-returner David Reed to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for running back Delone Carter.

This is the third former Indianapolis Colts player to join the Ravens in the past 11 days. Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell has ties with Carter, who was drafted in the fourth round in 2011, Caldwell's final season as the Colts' head coach. Tight end Dallas Clark and wide receiver Brandon Stokley are the other former Colts who have been signed by the Ravens this month.

Carter has a chance to be the No. 3 back behind Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. The addition of Carter is not a good sign for Anthony Allen and Bobby Rainey, both of whom are on the bubble. Carter, 26, is a straight-line power runner who has 499 career yards in two seasons with a less-than-spectacular 3.8-yard per-carry average. He has 27 yards on 10 carries this preseason.

Reed, a 2010 fifth-round pick by the Ravens, never reached his potential because of injuries. He was a solid special teams player who had five career catches. This trade indicates Reed wasn't going to make the final cutdown. The Ravens are expected to keep Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones and Stokley at receiver. The others fighting for roster spots are: Tandon Doss, LaQuan Williams, Deonte Thompson, Aaron Mellette and Marlon Brown.



Sunday, 12/21
Monday, 12/22