coleryan Posts:16048 Followers:21
On 09/23/2013 05:12 PM in NFL

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns: Preview and Pick

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns: Preview and Pick

After a big win over the Green Bay Packers, the Cincinnati Bengals seem like a legitimate contender to win the Super Bowl. This week they go up against a team in the Cleveland Browns that are anything but a contender. The Browns enter this game off a big win as they stunned the Minnesota Vikings as road dogs with an upset win.

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Odds

The NFL betting line for this game opened up with the Bengals as six point favorites. The public is betting on the Bengals early and not even giving the Browns a second look. Over 90 percent of the public is betting on the Bengals and the line is moving in a different direction. The latest betting line has actually dropped to (-5) at several online sportsbooks which could be an early indication that the sharps are backing the Browns.

If the Browns want to win the defense has to shut down AJ Green. Andy Dalton went 0-for-2 with an interception and a pass defended targeting A.J. Green in the first half Sunday. In the second half none of Dalton's attempts to Green were disrupted by a Packers defender, going 4-for-6 for 46 yards and a touchdown.

The Browns looked good on offense thanks to a change at quarterback and some trick plays. Brian Hoyer is the first signal caller in Browns history to throw for at least 300 yards in his debut with the team.

The Browns used multiple trick plays in the game against the Vikings. They scored a touchdown on a fake field goal. It was their first score on a 4th down since Week 13 2011. They also had a fake punt that netted a 34 yard run by Josh Aubrey. The Browns pulled off a similar feat against the Steelers in Week 17 last season when Raymond Ventrone picked up 35 yards on a fake punt. This new look for the Browns can be what they need to turn the season around.

The latest NFL betting trends reveal some interesting betting angles for this AFC North battle. Cincinnati is 2-4 against the spread (ATS) in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Cleveland and the total has gone over in 5 of Cincinnati's last 6 games when playing Cleveland. The total has gone under in 11 of Cleveland's last 14 games at home and the Browns are just 3-8-1 straight up in the last 12 games overall.

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Pick

With plenty of time to go before the start of the regular season, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0
coleryan Posts:16048 Followers:21
09/24/2013 02:47 PM

When the Bengals signed outside linebacker James Harrison in April, they began entertaining grandiose plans for how they might use the All-Pro, Super Bowl-winning veteran.

Run support would be logical situations where his intense, aggressive and hard-hitting persona ought to do well, they figured. Maybe in certain pass-rush packages they could line him up just off the line of scrimmage as a defensive end and rush him from the edge, too, they thought.

As long as opposing teams didn't pass too much, the intimidating linebacker would be a major part of the Bengals' defensive game plan.

Through three games, though, it doesn't appear Cincinnati's offseason plans are taking shape. Harrison has spent more time on the sidelines coaching up his teammates and barking orders and reminders at them than assisting with coverage calls and play checks on the field itself. So far, he appears to be a non-factor.

Don't expect that to last. "He's good," defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said, smiling. "He'll be an impact."

Bengals fans don't appear to share Zimmer's confidence. For the past two games in particular, they have scratched their heads and wondered aloud via social media and team blogs about the big linebacker's purpose on the team. Some have been alarmed by the large amount of nickel defense the Bengals have used this season, and ask why there haven't been concessions made to get Harrison on the field in those situations.

The easy answer? Because opposing offenses just haven't dictated having him on the field.

In Pittsburgh and Green Bay, the Bengals faced two of the NFL's more prolific passing offenses. Both systems are receiver-heavy and force corners, linebackers and occasional safeties to move around in an effort to line up with all the receivers. Zimmer's defense calls for man-press coverage, and requires defenders to prevent receivers from being left in isolated zones. The combination of injuries at cornerback and linebacker forced the Bengals in those two games to rotate more linebackers into nickel coverage than they would have liked. Harrison, who isn't known for his coverage skills, was not one of them.

The fact that both the Steelers and Packers trailed at times in their losses to the Bengals made it even more incumbent upon the Bengals to defend against the pass as the opponents tried to roar back into the respective ballgames. With injuries to their best tight ends in those games, the Steelers and Packers had one more reason to turn to more athletic receivers in their offensive sets. For that reason, from a playing standpoint, the non-covering Harrison suffered.

"It just worked out that way," Zimmer said.

After three games, Harrison has played just 57 snaps, more than 30 below the league average for linebackers. After being used on 38 plays against Chicago in the season opener, his snap opportunities dwindled dramatically against Pittsburgh and Green Bay. He saw just 14 plays against the Steelers and five against the Packers. Harrison currently is averaging 19 snaps per game, while the league average for linebackers is 30.

Before signing with Cincinnati this offseason, the 35-year-old spent 11 seasons in Pittsburgh. In his last five with the Steelers, he averaged 59.8 plays per game.

To his credit, though, Harrison has handled his decreased role with the Bengals with class, according to Zimmer. He very easily could have let the assistant know he was upset by the fact that he's been so seldom used and only has one tackle this season. It appears he hasn't done that.

"I'm impressed with James and his attitude and the way he handles things," Zimmer said.

Zimmer said the Bengals planned on getting Harrison in more often against the Packers in certain blitz packages, but the opportunities didn't really present themselves. Part of that was the product of Harrison still learning some of the blitz assignments with his new team. Another part had to do with the flow of the game and various lead changes. Cincinnati led all first quarter after jumping out to a quick 14-0 lead that forced Green Bay to go into immediate comeback mode. The Packers were passing often. When they took the lead in the third quarter, though, they started running with scat-back style runner Johnathan Franklin.

"I was calling so many blitzes and he was going to be in a different spot, so it was going to be a little unnerving for him because he had a short time to learn all of them," Zimmer said.

Across the next few weeks, look for Harrison on the field more often. Aside from the Patriots in Week 5, few teams on the Bengals' horizon feature the type of wide, multi-receiver offenses that the Steelers and Packers employed the past two weeks. With more time to learn blitz packages, too, Harrison ought to have even more opportunities to play when he faces teams like Pittsburgh again late in the season.

"All I know is he will be an impact for us when all is said and done," Zimmer said.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0
coleryan Posts:16048 Followers:21
09/25/2013 03:51 PM

Brian Hoyer was always a hero for the Cleveland Browns in his backyard. On Sunday, he will try to be one in front of 73,000 fans.

Not only will Hoyer make his second straight start at quarterback for the Browns, he will do it at home for the team he's always loved, against the rival Cincinnati Bengals and in front of family and friends.

For a kid who wanted to be Bernie Kosar when he grew up, Hoyer is following No. 19's footsteps onto the field.

"It will be awesome," Hoyer said.

On Wednesday, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Hoyer will start again for injured Brandon Weeden, who is recovering from a sprained right thumb and isn't ready to play. Hoyer filled in for Weeden last Sunday at Minnesota and threw three touchdown passes, including the game-winner with 51 seconds left, as the Browns beat the Vikings 31-27.

Chudzinski is not making any long-term plans at quarterback.

"We'll just approach it from a week-to-week basis and see where everybody's at, and we'll make the best decision for what I determine gives us the best chance to win," he said.

Hoyer completed 30 of 54 passes for 321 yards last Sunday. The former third-stringer overcame three interceptions and showed poise and confidence while leading the Browns (1-2) to the comeback win.

"He came in and played with great composure," Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas said. "Obviously, this was his first live snaps with the No. 1s, and he did a great job, just seamlessly coming in and throwing the ball on time where it needed to go, saying the play in the huddle confidently, directing the offense. Those are the type of things that were impressive."

Hoyer was critical of his performance, especially the three picks. "The interceptions were just bad decisions," Hoyer said. "Things that I should have known better and you learn from it and you move on. Football is football. You get out there, you play and you get into a rhythm and you do the best you can."

Hoyer said of all the former Cleveland quarterbacks, he most relates to Kosar, who led the Browns to three AFC title games and remains one of Cleveland's most beloved athletes.

"He sent me a message and a text," Hoyer said. "That was pretty cool. You look down at your phone and it says, 'Hey, this is Bernie Kosar.' To me, when I used to wear the jersey in the backyard to now, getting a message from him is pretty cool."

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0
coleryan Posts:16048 Followers:21
09/26/2013 01:14 PM

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Wednesday that his remarks following the Trent Richardson trade -- which were bulletin-board material -- were taken out of context.

In an interview last week on SiriusXM NFL radio, Lewis sounded as though he felt the Browns were an easier gig than before they shipped Richardson to the Colts for a 2014 first-round pick.

“We go to Cleveland next week,'' Lewis said during the interview. "I’m feeling pretty good about that, a little bit better about that.''

Lewis went on to say, “Anytime a great young player like Trent Richardson leaves your division — now we still get to face him this year, but once instead of twice. He’s a fine player and, I think, has a big career ahead of him, so not bad that he drives two hours west of us instead of four hours north.”

When asked about the remarks during a conference call with Browns reporters Wednesday, he said with a laugh, "You saw a quote taken out of context you mean. I thought Trent Richardson was a fine player, a great prospect, and that was my only comment was to that. He's a very good player. In evaluating him coming out prior to the draft, his two games (against the Bengals) and watching him play last season as a rookie, I thought he was a fine, fine football player.''

But does he feel the Browns are lesser opponent with Richardson off to Indianapolis?

"No, I've never been one to game plan around a position player,'' he said. "Sometimes players are more athletic than others, sometimes backs have an ability to escape outside like a (Eric) Metcalf used to back in those days, Jamal Lewis' strength and so forth. These are very good NFL players and Cleveland has built a very fine football team and we've got to play great football come Sunday to have an opportunity to win.''

It's no wonder Lewis would be singing Richardson's praises. In week two of last season, Richardson had a breakout game in a 34-27 loss in Cincinnati. He rushed 19 times for 109 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown. He also caught four passes for 36 yards and a 23-yard TD.

The 145 combined yards were Richardson's season high, and the 32-yard run was his season long. His 5.7-yard average was second-highest of the season, only to his 5.9 yards in Denver.

By the second meeting, however, the Bengals were ready. They held him to 37 yards on 14 carries with a long gain of 8. He also caught two passes for 17 yards.

With Richardson gone, Chudzinski hasn't settled on a feature back. He said Chris Ogbonnaya, Bobby Rainey and recently-signed Willis McGahee will continue to rotate. The three backs combined for 49 yards on 14 carries versus the Vikings. McGahee, 31, admitted afterwards that he's still rusty.

In his first action since suffering a knee injury in November, he gained nine yards on eight carries.

Just for kicks: Kicker Billy Cundiff did not practice Monday as he recovers from a strain quad suffered in the Vikings’ game.

Coach Rob Chudzinski said he'll wait until later in the week to see whether the Browns need to sign a kicker. Punter Spencer Lanning converted two of three attempts in pre-season and nailed an extra point in the Vikings game.

“We have a plan and we’ll be OK there," said Chudzinski. "Obviously Spencer, AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, we have a lot of faith in him, as well.”

Lanning said he'll practice kicking this week. What is his range?

“Oh geez, let’s see, my longest field goal in college was 52 so I’d like to think I still have that leg strength,’’ he said.

Benji returns: Chudzinski does not believe Travis Benjamin is struggling in his role as punt returner. The second-year player ranks tied for 11th in return average (7.8 yards). He muffed a punt in Sunday’s game that resulted in a turnover and has called for several fair catches when it appeared return chances were available.

“No, I think he’s doing fine,” Chudzinski said. “I think he’ll have his opportunities to shine and he has. Some people are kicking away from him a little bit or hanging it up. But I’m excited about Travis every time he’s out there on the field.”

In regards to kickoff returns, Greg Little will handle the chore again. He returned one last week for 26 yards.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0
coleryan Posts:16048 Followers:21
09/27/2013 12:30 PM

George Iloka might have been aware of the pun he delivered, but there was little indication of it.

The Cincinnati Bengals safety had a serious look on his face. There was no smiling. There was no laughter. It seemed he had a real understanding of the gravity of the words he was saying.

When it came to discussing the trip to Cleveland he and his teammates are making this weekend, Iloka was very direct Wednesday afternoon about what the Bengals are anticipating when they meet their fellow AFC North foe in another installment of their classic rivalry.

"You just have to expect a dogfight, and when you go up there, just know that you're going to play all four downs and all four quarters," Iloka said.

Surely you caught the pun, intentional or not.

You didn't? Well, we just might have to check your NFL fan card.

For 79 times in NFL history, the Bengals and Browns have met in games that have divided a state, separated households and put friendships on pause.

"Obviously the rivalry has been there for a while," said Rob Chudzinski, the Browns' first-year head coach and a native of Toledo, Ohio. "I have relatives and people who live in Cincinnati, and over the course of the years we've had some fun ribbing about the game."

Whether at the old Riverfront Stadium or the new Paul Brown Stadium, the contests have been intense whenever they are held in Cincinnati. In Cleveland, the "Dog Pound" has been equally intense and emotional. For the Bengals, those games have been among the most hostile scenes they have encountered.

"Division teams always play each other pretty tight. No matter which of them is having a better season, they always play each other snug," Bengals veteran offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said. "We know going there, this is going to be one of the toughest road trips we have. They know us well. We know them. You're going on the road into their place, so it's an advantage for them. It's a challenge, but you've got to be able to win games like that if you want to have success throughout the year."

The past eight meetings have been decided by 10 points or less. Cincinnati has won all of them but two.

One week after the Browns claimed their first win of the season in a 31-27 victory at Minnesota, the Bengals are anticipating an emotional, confident team when they step inside FirstEnergy Stadium.

The emotions and excitement ought to be particularly high for the Browns who are giving fifth-year quarterback Brian Hoyer only the fourth start of his career. The Cleveland native got the nod over an ailing Brandon Weeden against the Vikings in Week 3, and will be starting as a professional quarterback for the first time in his hometown. Cincinnati is no stranger to a mid-season quarterback drama. When Andy Dalton was drafted, there was similar initial intrigue as many wondered what it meant for Carson Palmer's status on the roster. Eventually, the Bengals traded Palmer to Oakland and stuck with Dalton.

He's been their starting quarterback ever since.

"I would imagine they're going to be as tough as they'll ever be because we had [a switch] in 2011," Whitworth said. "Kind of that same deal when Carson left and people said there's no way you can do it. You just kind of rally around each other. Sometimes it's hard to get guys to believe in it, but the truth is, the game of football is special and the team is better than any individual.

"We're going to play a team that's riled up and that believes in one another and that's going to be fighting for each other. It's going to be one of the hardest challenges of the year."

It's one the Bengals better embrace, or they'll be staring at a .500 record in a flash.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0
coleryan Posts:16048 Followers:21
09/27/2013 12:31 PM

Joe Haden isn't staying up all night worrying about what Bengals receiver A.J. Green might do to him Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

"It's not like we’re scared," the Browns cornerback said. "They have to plan for us, too. It’s not all about what they’re doing, it’s about what we’re gonna do to them. We have to come out and be aggressive and put hits on people. He’s really, really talented, but you've got T.J. (Ward) and (Tashaun) Gipson over the top, lurking, ready to come across the middle if he comes across the middle.

"I’m not just gonna run along with him and try to let him jump over me. It’s gonna be a really, good, intense matchup. It’s not a scared thing at all. It’s gonna be a battle. You gotta know sometimes they might get theirs, but you gotta be able to get yours a lot more."

And safety T.J. Ward takes exception to everyone assuming Green, a two-time Pro Bowler, will make his plays against the Browns.

“Who says he has to?'' said Ward. "That’s our job to stop him and try to make no plays out of them. But he’s a good receiver and we’ll see what happens Sunday. We have a great corner covering him.''

In four games against the Browns -- including three against Haden -- Green has caught 18 passes for 344 yards and four touchdowns. He's averaged 19.1 yards per catch.

Some of his most memorable moments include the 41-yard touchdown in his first game as a rookie, a 27-17 victory in the 2011 season opener. The TD from Bruce Gradkowski came on a quick snap against a napping Browns defense and put the Bengals ahead for good. It was Green's only catch of the game, but he made it count.

In the second meeting that season, a 23-20 Bengals victory, Green leaped over Haden for a 51-yard strike that led to a game-winning field goal.

In the first meeting last season -- with Haden suspended for Adderall use -- Green caught seven passes for 58 yards and a touchdown in a 34-27 Bengals victory. Then, in Haden's first game back Oct. 14, Green erupted for seven catches for 135 yards and two TDs, his first multi-TD game. His final score was a 57-yarder against Haden, whose legs had turned to rubber after four weeks off.

But Haden got the last laugh when the Browns won, 34-24.

"We won, so I'll say I got the best of him,'' he said. "That last one, he got that touchdown. It was like third and 20 and that was my first game back from suspension. My legs -- done. I was finished. It was a good battle and A.J., he had a touchdown, so we're just excited, ready to get out there and get up on Cincinnati.''

Haden ranks the 6-4 Green as the second-best receiver in the league to Detroit's Calvin Johnson, who will invade FirstEnergy Stadium on Oct. 13.

“He’s just an overall great receiver with talent,'' Haden said. “He’s really tall, fast, runs good routes, goes up and gets the ball. He’s one of the best. He’s the best receiver I’ve been playing against since I’ve been in the league. And then with him and (quarterback Andy) Dalton coming in together, they have that chemistry and he trusts him.

"If you have a quarterback that trusts you, he’ll throw a jump ball to him. If it’s a situation he really needs, you know he’s going to go to 18.''

Defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who spent the past two seasons in Arizona with star receiver Larry Fitzgerald, believes Green stacks right up. Last season, Green caught 97 passes for 1,350 yards and 11 touchdowns.

"AJ is one of the bright, rising stars in the AFC for sure,'' said Horton. "He's one of the young, elite, Larry Fitzgerald-type guys. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s not the fastest guy because he’s a bigger guy, but he catches everything that’s around him. He’s going to get his. You're not going to shut him out, and again, you want to limit those four shots, unwritten rule, that they take a game at you.''

After grappling with Haden over the past two seasons, Green can't understand why Haden hasn't joined him in the Pro Bowl yet.

"I feel like he’s one of the most underrated guys that gets no attention for being one of the best corners in the league,'' Green said on a conference call this week. "I'm so surprised he never made a Pro Bowl or All-Pro, because he’s been doing it for four years at a consistent basis. I really don’t understand why people don’t give him the benefit of the doubt to being one of the best corners.''

Coming from Green, that meant a lot to Haden.

"It’s special, just to hear him say that,'' said Haden. "Hearing that from him just [lets me] know that my work doesn’t go unnoticed. I try to come out there every week and have to go against players of his caliber, No. 1 receivers. You might not the get the recognition from outside, but in-house, your coaches know. And then it helps a lot knowing that the players you go against, your peers, they realize what’s going on too.''

Of course, Haden, who gives up five inches to Green, lost his shot at the Pro Bowl last season when he was suspended four games. But Green is convinced Haden should be there among the league's premier defensive backs.

"He’s probably one of the best corners I’ll face this season,'' Green said. "It’s always great to have a guy like that on the other side. You actually see where you measure up. He always plays me good, so it’ll be tough.''

Haden said the key is to limit the big plays.

"You don't want any deep balls, any passes over 30 yards,'' he said. "You don't want anything to go over your head. You want to be able to make sure you have AJ coming back to the quarterback, and if he does go deep, just make sure that you're there to try to be able to play. Just keep him in front of you. Keep all of their receivers in front of you."

But if Haden, who thinks the battles have been even, wants to be an elite Pro Bowl corner, he knows he has to fare well against Green.

“I look forward to it a lot,'' he said. "If you want to be the best, you have to go against the best. He’s one of those dudes that’s special, that don’t come along too much. There aren’t that many A.J.s in the league. You just can’t put too many people on his level. It's a really good contest and matchup and I like it a lot.”

And not one that keeps him awake at night.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0
coleryan Posts:16048 Followers:21
09/27/2013 12:32 PM

Coach Marvin Lewis realizes he needs to keep his Cincinnati Bengals focused as they prepare to face the Cleveland Browns, who probably shouldn't be taken lightly after last week.

The visiting Bengals hope to avoid a letdown by beating the Browns for the eighth time in 10 meetings when the AFC North rivals meet in Cleveland on Sunday.

Cincinnati (2-1) became the first team in NFL history to lead by 14 points, then trail by 16, before rallying to win 34-30 over Green Bay on Sunday. It was also the first time in 14 years that a team won after allowing its opponent to score 30 consecutive points.

The Bengals know they now have to turn the page from the wild victory as they hit the road looking for a 2-0 start in the division.

"That's what the NFL is - a lead-in to the next game," Lewis told the team's official website. "This is all for nothing if we don't take care of business the next week and the next."

The Browns (1-2) appeared to be looking to next season with the stunning trade of running back Trent Richardson to Indianapolis and the appointment of third-stringer Brian Hoyer as their starting quarterback last week.

However, emerging star Jordan Cameron caught three touchdown passes, including the go-ahead grab in the back of the end zone with 51 seconds left, to give the Browns a 31-27 victory at Minnesota on Sunday.

It was their first win in six games.

"We got together last week after the news about Trent and we kind of came closer as a team," said Cameron, who has 20 receptions for a career-high 269 yards and four scores. "The team leaders talked to us about trusting this organization and where we're going as a team."

Hoyer overcame three interceptions to throw for a career-best 321 yards, going 30 for 54 with three touchdowns. The effort earned him his second straight start and first at home in place of Brandon Weeden, who is recovering from a sprained right thumb.

"It will be awesome,'' said Hoyer, who makes his third start in five NFL seasons.

After serving a two-game suspension, Josh Gordon made an immediate impact in his debut with 10 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. The second-year wideout had three receptions for 99 yards and a score to help Cleveland beat visiting Cincinnati 34-24 on Oct. 14.

The Bengals committed four turnovers last week, but limited Green Bay to 13 points off them. They also sacked Aaron Rodgers four times, picked him off twice and scored the winning touchdown on Terence Newman's 58-yard fumble return with 3:47 left.

"Every time we take the field, we take it like we own it," defensive tackle Domata Peko said. "We stood firm as a defense. As long as we do that all season, we should have a chance to win a lot of games.''

Cincinnati, though, would like to clean things up offensively after committing seven giveaways in three games.

Andy Dalton threw his third interception of the season Sunday, though he went 20 of 28 for 235 yards with two touchdowns. The Browns intercepted him four times last year, but Dalton completed 71.4 percent of his attempts for 699 yards and six scores as the teams split the two meetings.

A.J. Green has 10 receptions for 87 yards and one score over the past two weeks after finishing with nine for 162 and two touchdowns in the opener. He's likely to face a difficult matchup in star cornerback Joe Haden, who has played a key role in helping limit Cleveland's opponents to 300.0 yards per game, sixth in the league.

Haden missed a 34-27 loss in Cincinnati last Sept. 16 while serving a four-game suspension for violating the league policy on performance-enhancing substances. He recorded an interception in the win at Cleveland.

"It doesn't matter who I go up against, I feel like everyone is going to try and get up for me," said Green, who had 14 catches for 193 yards and three scores versus the Browns last season. "I just go out there, play my game and we'll see what happens."

Although the Bengals have won seven of nine meetings, they've dropped two of their last three in Cleveland.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0
coleryan Posts:16048 Followers:21
09/28/2013 11:11 AM

Just when the Bengals secondary was in need of a little good news, the unit got it Friday morning when second-year cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick returned to practice for the first time in more than a week.

The defensive back had been out with a hamstring injury since the Bengals' win over the Pittsburgh Steelers two Mondays ago. Without him last weekend against the Packers, the Bengals rotated three cornerbacks, Leon Hall, Terence Newman and Adam Jones. Hall and Newman were both banged up in last Sunday's 34-30 win and either completely missed or were limited in practices this week. Newman, it appears, will be good to go this Sunday when the Bengals face the Browns in Cleveland.

Hall may be a different story, though. He and safety Reggie Nelson missed their third straight practice Friday. They've been sidelined since the win over Green Bay with hamstring injuries. Typically, the odds of playing aren't in the favor of injured players who miss Friday workouts. That doesn't mean neither will dress later this weekend, but there is a high chance they may not.

Coach Marvin Lewis didn't close the door on either player Friday, but the probability of either playing appears slim. Both were listed, along with Kirkpatrick, as doubtful for the weekend. We'll know their official status Sunday when the Bengals announce their inactives.

Here's how the rest of the Bengals' injury report looks entering the weekend:

DOUBTFUL: CB Leon Hall (hamstring), CB Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring), S Reggie Nelson (hamstring), G Mike Pollak (knee)

PROBABLE: OT Anthony Collins (knee), CB Brandon Ghee (concussion), RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (ankle), LB James Harrison (illness), CB Terence Newman (knee)

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0
coleryan Posts:16048 Followers:21
09/28/2013 11:14 AM

Browns injury report:

Out:
Quarterback Brandon Weeden (sprained right thumb), outside linebacker Quentin Groves (ankle) and defensive end Billy Winn (strained quadriceps).

Doubtful:
Outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard (sprained left knee).

Questionable:
Kicker Billy Cundiff (strained right quadriceps) and right guard Shawn Lauvao (high-ankle sprain).

Probable: Right guard Oniel Cousins (chest), defensive end Ahtyba Rubin (calf), wide receiver Josh Gordon (ankle) and defensive end Desmond Bryant (wrist).

Did not participate in practice: Weeden, Groves, Winn and Sheard. Limited participation: Cundiff and Lauvao.
Full participation: Cousins, Rubin, Gordon and Bryant.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0
coleryan Posts:16048 Followers:21
09/29/2013 08:20 AM

Pick: Browns +4

This Browns team is inspired after the win against the Vikings. At home in division, the Browns always play tough and could get the win outright.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 5-6-0