AFC North: injured reserve

Browns place Fujita, Wright on IR

December, 21, 2010
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The Cleveland Browns placed two key defensive players on injured reserve Tuesday, as starting linebacker Scott Fujita and former starting cornerback Eric Wright were shut down for the year with leg injuries.

Fujita (knee) has missed the past five games, while Wright (leg) was hurt in last week's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Fujita started nine games and recorded 53 tackles, 3.5 sacks and an interception. Wright began the year as the starter and was eventually benched in favor of rookie first-round pick Joe Haden. Wright ended the year with 42 tackles and one interception.

Cleveland filled the two open roster spots by signing nose tackle Travis Ivey and linebacker Steve Octavien.

AFC North update: Waiting on Colt McCoy

December, 13, 2010
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Here are the latest happenings Monday evening in the AFC North:
Speaking of the Ravens, check with the AFC North blog this evening for live analysis during the game as well as postgame reaction.

AFC North evening links: Odom to IR

December, 2, 2010
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Here are the latest happenings Thursday evening in the AFC North:
  • The Cincinnati Bengals put defensive end Antwan Odom (wrist) on injured reserve. Odom played in just four games this season.
  • Here is an in-depth profile of Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Mike Wallace, who is having a breakout season.
  • Baltimore Ravens safety Dawan Landry expects to play Sunday against Pittsburgh despite suffering a concussion Sunday.
  • Ravens defensive end Terrell Suggs and Cleveland Browns rookie cornerback Joe Haden both received monthly awards from the NFL for their solid play in November.

Bengals place Andre Smith on IR

November, 13, 2010
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As expected, the Cincinnati Bengals placed former first-round pick Andre Smith on injured reserve Saturday, which ends his 2010 season.

For the second consecutive year, Smith broke a bone in his left foot. It happened during practice Wednesday. He started the past three games at right tackle, and the Bengals have to decide this offseason whether to extend his contract from four to six years.

Cincinnati signed cornerback Rico Murray from the practice squad to fill the roster spot Smith vacated. The Bengals (2-6) will travel to face the Indianapolis Colts (5-3) on Sunday.
The Cincinnati Bengals suffered another blow to their secondary Tuesday. The team announced cornerback Adam Jones was placed on injured reserve with a herniated disc in his neck.

Jones suffered the injury in the second half of Cincinnati's 39-32 defeat to the Atlanta Falcons. Jones started in place of injured starter Johnathan Joseph, who missed the game with an ankle injury.

I talked to Joseph in the locker room after Sunday's game in Atlanta and he said he didn't feel right after testing the ankle before the game. There is a better chance of him playing Sunday against the Miami Dolphins (3-3) at home, and the Bengals (2-4) could certainly use him in this must-win game. Cincinnati gave up 201 yards to Falcons receiver Roddy White on Sunday.

Ravens gain two important cogs

October, 23, 2010
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The Baltimore Ravens gained a Pro Bowl safety and a special teams ace from the physically unable to perform list Saturday. The team announced safety Ed Reed and backup linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo have been activated to the 53-man roster. Both are expected to debut Sunday against the Buffalo Bills (0-5).

Baltimore (4-2) got off to a good start without Reed and played much better than expected against the pass in his absence. Now Reed, who had offseason hip surgery, will patrol the back end of Baltimore's defense, which should help pass coverage, creating turnovers and the team's blitz packages.

Ayanbadejo will provide depth at linebacker and is good at covering kicks. To make room for the moves, the Ravens released linebacker Edgar Jones and put offensive tackle Jared Gaither on injured reserve.

Jared Gaither likely done in Baltimore

October, 22, 2010
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ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Friday that the Baltimore Ravens will put offensive tackle Jared Gaither (back) on injured reserved, which will pave the way for safety Ed Reed to come off the physically unable to perform list.

Gaither
Gaither
While this signals the start of the 2010 season for Reed, it also likely signals the end for Gaither in Baltimore. The Ravens selected Gaither in the supplemental draft in 2007, and he had a good three-year run in which he started 28 regular-season games. But this year has been a disaster to the point that Gaither probably played his last game for the Ravens.

It started in the offseason when Gaither was unhappy about his contract situation. The Ravens were unwilling to give him an extension beyond this season and even fielded trade requests in the spring. No offer was to Baltimore's liking so the team retained the unhappy Gaither, who became even more disgruntled after the move from left to right tackle.

Gaither continued to fall out of favor in Baltimore by showing up much lighter than his playing weight. Back problems also kept Gaither out of practice and off the field, eventually leading to Friday's decision to place him on injured reserve.

For Gaither, it's time to get healthy and focus on 2011. He's a young player with natural ability, and plenty of teams need offensive tackles.

For the Ravens, it's time to cut the cord and part ways with Gaither. Baltimore got a nice find in the supplemental draft. But as time went on, it became clear that Gaither and the Ravens were no longer a good match.

Steelers make their call at QB

October, 2, 2010
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For weeks, many wondered which two quarterbacks the Pittsburgh Steelers would keep once starter Ben Roethlisberger returned from his four-game suspension.

On Saturday, the Steelers made their decision.

Pittsburgh announced it placed quarterback Dennis Dixon (knee) on injured reserve, which means the team will go with Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich as its three quarterbacks for the remainder of the 2010 season. The Steelers also signed defensive tackle Steve McLendon.

Dixon was hurt in the Steelers' Week 2 win over the Tennessee Titans. His recovery was projected to take about six weeks, which was enough to convince the Steelers (3-0) to move on this year with three healthier quarterbacks.

Batch's recent play also didn't hurt. He threw for three touchdowns in last week's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dixon finished the year throwing for 254 yards and one interception in two starts. A former fifth-round pick, Dixon will be a restricted free agent after this season.

Morning take: Baltimore's big slate

September, 30, 2009
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Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker


Here are the most interesting stories Wednesday in the AFC North:
  • The next three games should be a big test for the undefeated Baltimore Ravens (3-0).
Morning take: With New England (2-1), Cincinnati (2-1) and Minnesota (3-0) on tap, the Ravens have a golden opportunity to make some huge statements. Last week’s win over the Cleveland Browns was a good warm-up for the main event.
  • Speaking of the Browns, has coach Eric Mangini lost the support of the fans after three games?
Morning take: In my opinion, every new regime deserves much more than three games to show what it can do. But it’s clear many Browns fans are already near the end of their rope.
  • Injuries to Pittsburgh Steelers running backs Willie Parker (toe), Frank Summers (back) and tight end/H-back David Johnson (ankle) have hurt the depth in the backfield.
Morning take: Summers was put on injured reserve and Carey Davis is back on the team. Pittsburgh needs help from the running game if it wants to turn its season around.
Morning take: Kelly has been through a lot of lean years in Cincinnati, and I'm sure he's saddened that he can't experience what looks to be an exciting year. The Bengals also could’ve used his experience at tight end.

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