January 1, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall (34) fights his way between outside linebacker Kaluka Maiava (56) and Cleveland Browns nose tackle Scott Paxson (69) at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE

Scouting the AFC North: Browns Cry Foul, & Steelers Getting Healthy



The Steelers running game is off to a historically bad start, but they will receive a significant boost this week with the return of Pro Bowl RB Rashard Mendenhall, who is now fully healthy after recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in January. Its unclear as to how many touches he’ll get this week against the Eagles’ stout defense.

Safety Troy Polamalu is ready to make his return after missing the last two games with a calf injury, but has to be careful to avoid setback.


Ravens All-Pro safety Ed Reed is appealing his $21,000 NFL fine for last Sunday’s game where he laid a devastating hit on Patriots WR Deion Branch.

Offensive coordiantor Cam Cameron’s no huddle offense has taken the teams’ previous emphasis on the running game away, and the biggest loser has been All-Pro fullback Vonta Leach, who has played just 105 snaps in their four games, and was used as a block on just 63 of those plays. It really is an indictment on NFL teams running the ball in today’s pass-happy league when a player as good as Leach isn’t being used.


The Browns are accusing the Ravens of dirty play that took place in their Thursday night matchup last week.

Starting safety T.J. Ward is day-to-day after undergoing thumb surgery while receivers Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring) and Josh Cribbs (concussion) were held out of practice today.


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Tags: Baltimore Ravens Cleveland Browns Pittsburgh Steelers Rashard Mendenhall

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