AFC North & NFL Roundup: Week Of Dec. 12-16

We’ll round up the biggest stories from AFC North enemy territory each day. We’ll also bring you any NFL national news and updates on former Ravens, if there’s something to pass along.

Posted by BR.com on Friday, December 16th, 2011 at 9:10 am | Categories: AFC North, AFC North Roundup

We’ll round up the biggest stories from AFC North enemy territory each day. We’ll also bring you any NFL national news and updates on former Ravens, if there’s something to pass along.

Friday, Dec. 16

SteelersTomlin In Bind Over Ben’s Injury
Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin has a tough decision to make in terms of deciding whether to play quarterback Ben Roethlisberger Monday against the 49ers. The Steelers can’t afford to take a loss, but playing Roethlisberger could risk further injury and prevent his high ankle sprain from healing. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

BrownsBrowns Focused On Finding Playmakers
Cleveland Browns General Manager Tom Heckert met with reporters yesterday and emphasized that the team will be looking for offensive playmakers in the upcoming draft and free agency period. Heckert also defended the team’s decision last year to trade their first-round pick to the Falcons, which they ended up using on Julio Jones. Cleveland Plain Dealer]

BengalsGresham Key For  Bengals
Cincinnati tight end Jermaine Gresham has been a key in the Bengals passing game and has emerged as one of the go-to targets for rookie quarterback Andy Dalton. Since suffering a hamstring injury earlier in the season, Gresham has  come back and been a big contributor for Cincinnati’s offense. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

NFLFalcons Dominate Jaguars On Thursday Night
The Atlanta Falcons dominated the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football 41-14. Atlanta led 41-0 at one point, and the Falcons strengthened their hold on getting an NFC wild card bid. [SI.com]

Thursday, Dec. 15

NFLNFL Inks New Nine-Year TV Deal
The NFL announced a new nine-year extension for its national television contracts, which will keep the country’s most popular professional league on broadcast networks. The deal will run through the 2022 season, and is worth about $3 billion annually. As part of the deal, the NFL also has plans to extend its Thursday night games. [Washington Post]

SteelersTomlin Muzzles Players’ Response
Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin told his players to keep it cool when talking to the media about James Harrison’s one-game suspension for a hit he put on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. Several players issued no comment when asked about the suspension on Wednesday. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

BrownsHolmgren Voices Confidence In Shurmur
Cleveland Browns President Mike Holmgren spoke with the media yesterday and defended the w ay his medical staff handled the Colt McCoy concussion, and also voiced confidence in rookie head coach Pat Shurmur. “We have a very, very competent young head coach who will be here for a long time,” said Holmgren. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

BengalsDunlap Returns To Action
Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap practiced Wednesday for the first time in a month and he is hopeful that he will be able to play Sunday against St. Louis. Dunlap has not played since the Bengals loss to the Ravens on Nov. 20. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

Wednesday, Dec. 14

SteelersHarrison Suspended One Game
Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been suspended for one game for the helmet-to-helmet hit that he put on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy in last week’s game. This was Harrison’s fifth illegal hit on a quarterback in the last three years. After the suspension was announced, Harrison tweeted, “Lol!” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

BrownsHolmgren Makes No Comment About Hit, Procedure
Cleveland Browns President Mike Holmgren has made no public comments about Harrison’s hit on McCoy, and the subsequent process that the medical team followed before sending McCoy back on the field two plays later. Several news outlets have called for him to address the issue, but Holmgren has yet to do so. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

BengalsNugent Named Ed Block Courage Winner
Cincinnati Bengals kicker Mike Nugent has been selected as the team’s recipient for the Ed Block Courage Award for coming back from a serious knee injury to have a great 2011 season. Nugent missed the last seven games of last year, but is one of the best kickers in the NFL this season. [WCPO.com]

NFLCowboys Put Murray On Injured Reserve
The Dallas Cowboys put running back DeMarco Murray on season-ending injured reserve after he broke his ankle in Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants. The rookie was a bright spot for Dallas this season, after he burst onto the scene with a 253-yard game in October. [SI.com]

Tuesday, Dec. 13

BrownsNFL, NFLPA Investigating Browns Concussion Procedure
Representatives from the NFL and the NFLPA are in Cleveland to meet with the Browns about the process the team followed to diagnose quarterback Colt McCoy with a concussion last Thursday night. He suffered a concussion after a hit by James Harrison, but went back into the game two plays later. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

BengalsBengals Look To Fix Defensive Woes
The Bengals are looking to clean up the mistakes that led to the Bengal giving up 10 points to the Houston Texans in the final five minutes of Sunday’s loss. The Bengals have  lost four of their last five games, and now no longer control their own destiny to get to the postseason. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

SteelersHarrison Doesn’t Beleive Suspension Is  Warranted
Steelers linebacker James Harrison does not believe a suspension is warranted for his hit on Colt McCoy. “I don’t think it’s suspension-worthy,” Harrison said on Monday. “I don’t think it’s worthy of anything, but that’s just my own personal thoughts.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

NFLHaley, Sparano Both Fired
 Two NFL head coaches were fired yesterday, as the Kansas City Chiefs parted ways with Todd Haley, and the Dolphins fired Tony Sporano. Both teams have struggled throughout this season and are out of playoff contention. Romeo Crennel has taken over as the interim coach in Kansas City and Todd Bowles will coach the final three games for Miami. [ESPN.com]

RavensTexans Release Former Raven Mason
Former Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason was released by the Houston Texans yesterday, making it the second time Mason has been cut this year. He was traded to the Texans from the Jets earlier this year and then played seven games with Houston. The 37-year-old veteran was waived by the Ravens before the season. [Houston Chronicle]

Monday, Dec. 12

BrownsReport: Browns  Didn’t Conduct Concussion Test On McCoy
Browns quarterback Colt McCoy suffered a concussion after a hit in the team’s loss to Pittsburgh last Thursday. Despite the head injury, McCoy went back onto the field two plays later, and reports now indicate that the Browns did not test McCoy for a concussion until the next morning. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

BengalsBengals Lose Heartbreaker To Texans
Cincinnati’s playoff hopes suffered a major hit as the Bengals blew a nine-point fourth quarter lead to the Houston Texans. The Bengals led most  of the game, and it appeared that they would get back on track with a win (which would help out the Ravens), but they collapsed in the final five minutes and are now on the outside of the playoff race. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

SteelersHarrison Deserves Hefty Fine
Steelers linebacker James Harrison deserves a significant fine of that hit that give McCoy a concussion, writes Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook. The helmet-to-helmet was penalized for 15 yards, and the NFL will now review it to determine if a fine or even suspension is warranted. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

NFLTebow Leads Broncos To Comeback Victory
The Denver Broncos were down 10 points to Chicago with just over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but somehow Tim Tebow and the Broncos were able to pull off another improbable comeback. Denver took the game to overtime, and a 51-yard field goal by Matt Prater give Denver the win, making Tebow 7-1 as a starting quarterback. [SI.com]

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