AFC North Notes: Moves and news

The following is a look at some of the moves and news being made following the end of the preseason schedule by the other three teams in the AFC North Division – the Bengals, Browns and Ravens:

ITEM: Biggest news is Dalton seems to be OK
While fans of most NFL teams were focusing on waiver wire, Cincinnati Bengals fans were most interested in the injury situation of starting QB Andy Dalton.

On the sixth play of the preseason finale against the Indianapolis Colts, Dalton took a hit on his right arm from Colts DE Robert Mathis on a pass intended for A.J. Green. Dalton was down near the Bengals sideline for a couple of minutes and then walked off the field and went to the bench as trainers examined his elbow.

Said Dalton: "I'm good, no problem at all. I just took a hit on the arm, and my hand got feeling a little numb, sort of like getting hit on your funny bone. But it's fine now. There was just no point in taking any more snaps in this particular game."

With that potential disaster averted, the Bengals got down to the mandatory limit of 53 by waiving the following players: QB Zac Robinson, RB Daniel Herron, FB James Develin, FB Jourdan Brooks, TE Colin Cochart, WR Vidal Hazelton, OT Matt O'Donnell, OG Otis Hudson, C Reggie Stephens, DE Micah Johnson, DE DeQuin Evans, DT Vaughn Meatoga, DT Nick Hayden, LB Grant Hunter, LB Emmanuel Lamur, LB Roddrick Muckelroy, CB T.J. Heath, and CB Chris Lewis-Harris.

The team put S Tony Dye on the injured reserve list; veteran DT Pat Sims on the PUP list, which means he must miss the first six games; and LB Dontay Moch on the suspended list for the first four games.

When it came time to build a practice squad, the Bengals filled seven of the available eight spots. They did that by signing six of the players they waived – FB Brooks, RB Herron, G Hudson, LB Lamur, CB Lewis-Harris, and QB Robinson – in addition to adding LS Bryce Davis.

ITEM: Cook's status still undetermined
Starting C Kyle Cook was on the 53-man roster, but his status remains in doubt after he sustained an ankle injury in the preseason finale. Coach Marvin Lewis said the severity of Cook's injury still are being determined, and it's possible the team couple place him on the new injured reserve list that would allow him to return at midseason.

"All I know is he's not able to play this week and then we'll have to evaluate from there," said Lewis.

The injury to Cook was the second serious one to the offensive line during the preseason. Starting LG Travelle Wharton suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Jets on Aug.10. When Wharton went down, the Bengals had Clint Boling there to step up, but after Cook was injured the team signed veteran C Jeff Faine, who has nine years in the league with Cleveland, New Orleans and Tampa Bay.

ITEM: Team keeps McCoy over Wallace at QB
There had been much speculation over the course of the preseason about whether the Cleveland Browns would try to trade quarterback Colt McCoy, especially after Coach Pat Shurmur made it clear that rookie No. 1 pick Brandon Weeden would be the starter for the team's opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Then cut-down day arrived, and McCoy was kept while Seneca Wallace was released.

Wallace and veteran tight end Evan Moore were among the 22 moves the Browns made to get down to the NFL mandated roster limit of 53 players. They also traded first-year safety David Sims to the Eagles for a conditional draft pick in 2013.

The departure of Wallace, a 10-year veteran, leaves the Browns with Colt McCoy and second-year pro Thad Lewis as the quarterbacks behind Weeden. Wallace was set to make $2.4 million this season compared to $540,000 for McCoy, 25. As starters in Cleveland, Wallace was 1-6, and McCoy is 6-15.

Moore, who played his college football at Stanford and had started eight games over the previous two seasons for the Browns, turned in the most productive of his three seasons with the team in 2011, with 34 catches for 324 yards and four touchdowns. The Browns had signed Moore to a two-year contract extension in September 2011 and have paid him $4 million in salaries and bonuses since then, including a $500,000 roster bonus in March.

In addition to cutting Wallace and Moore, the Browns also waived 18 players: OL Dominic Alford; DL Ronnie Cameron; WR Josh Cooper; OL Stanley Daniels; DB James Dockery; OL Garth Gerhart; DL William Green; TE Dan Gronkowski; LB Benjamin Jacobs; DL Ernest Owusu; DL Brian Schaefering; OL Jarrod Shaw; OL Jeff Shugarts; FB Brad Smelley; LB Quinton Spears; RB Adonis Thomas; DL Kiante Tripp; and WR Rod Windsor.

Also, veteran linebacker Scott Fujita was placed on the suspended list for his role in Bountygate while a player for the New Orleans Saints.

The following day, the Browns made some move moves with their defense, first by claiming linebacker Tank Carder off waivers from Buffalo and defensive lineman Ishmaa'ily Kitchen off waivers from Baltimore. To clear room for those two players, the Browns waived defensive lineman Brian Sanford and waived/injured defensive lineman Scott Paxson.

When the Browns put together their eight-man practice squad, they started with seven of the players they had waived – DL Cameron, WR Cooper, LB Jacobs, FB Smelley, and offensive linemen Gerhart, Shaw, and Shugarts – and then added LB Solomon Elimimian, who was waived by Minnesota on August 25.

ITEM: Richardson is back on the field
On Saturday, Sept. 1, RB Trent Richardson practiced for the first time since Aug. 7, which was two days before he had arthroscopic surgery to repair a piece of loose cartilage in his left knee.

The progress has been good enough to make Shurmur "very optimistic" Richardson, the fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft, will be ready to play Sept. 9 against the Eagles.

If Richardson doesn't play in the opener, either Montario Hardesty or Brandon Jackson will start. Shurmur said Hardesty is still the No. 2 running back on the depth chart "at this point."

TE Benjamin Watson returned to practice after missing most of training camp and all four preseason games with what the Browns called an injured quadriceps or hamstring. Shurmur expects Watson to be ready for the Eagles.

ITEM: QB Painter is cut: LB Kindle is kept
Among the decisions the Baltimore Ravens made over the Labor Day weekend was to cut veteran QB Curtis Painter, which leaves the team with Joe Flacco and Tyrod Taylor at the position, and keep former No. 2 pick Sergio Kindle, who is trying to come back from an incident three years ago in which he fell down two flights of stairs to fracture his skull and cause permanent hearing loss in his left ear.

Kindle was not very productive during the preseason and was prone to penalties, but the Ravens decided his pass-rush potential was worth something with OLB Terrell Suggs out indefinitely with a partially torn right Achilles tendon.

In addition to Painter, the players the Ravens waived included: RB Anthony Allen: S Omar Brown; LB Josh Bynes; LB Nigel Carr; OT Jack Cornell; WR Dorian Graham; G-T Cord Howard; NT Nicholas Jean-Baptiste; NT Ishmaa'ily Kitchen; G Antoine McClain; DE Terrence Moore; WR Logan Payne; S Cyhl Quarles; OLB Chavis Williams; and G Tony Wragge.

The Ravens put six players on injured reserve: TE Matt Balasavage (ankle); RB Damien Berry (back): C-G Justin Boren (foot); LB Ricky Brown (concussion); TE Bruce Figgins (shoulder); and WR Tommy Streeter (sprained foot).

For their practice squad, the Ravens announced they filled five of the eight spots with five players they had waived: RB Allen, S Brown, G McClain, G-T Cornell, and LB Bynes. More moves are expected later this week.

"I really, really like this football team," said Coach John Harbaugh. "We have a group of guys who really know how to work, a group of guys that are really very united. There is a strong bond in that locker room."

Three undrafted rookies made the roster, including PK Justin Tucker, WR Deonte Thompson and RB Bobby Rainey.

Tucker beat out former Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff; Thompson averaged 39.8 yards per kickoff return and caught 10 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns during the preseason; and Rainey, 5-foot-8, 212 pounds, led the Ravens with 14 receptions for 163 yards and two touchdowns during the preseason.

ITEM: TEs Dickson, Pitta both expect to play in opener
Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, the Ravens' top two tight ends, both appear to be on a path back into the lineup for the opener after getting through a week of practice with no setbacks. Dickson had sprained a shoulder in the preseason opener on Aug. 9, while Pitta broke a bone in his right hand on July 30.

In 2011, Dickson was second on the team with five touchdown catches and third with 54 receptions; and Pitta ranked fifth in both catches with 40 and receiving yards with 405. Pitta did not play in any of the four preseason games, and Dickson didn't make a preseason appearance after injuring his shoulder in the opener.

Asked if he was becoming confident of the progress Dickson and Pitta are making, Harbaugh said, "Yeah, and we'll know a lot more on Monday, Wednesday and even especially Thursday when we pad it up a little bit. But they seem to be ahead of schedule, both those guys."

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