As the NFL trading deadline drew to a close yesterday, no team from the AFC North chose to get in on the action and make a deadline deal. The Bengals are notorious for being reluctant to make trades as Mike Brown loves his draft picks, since those are cheap, rookie contracts that keep players in Cincinnati for at least four seasons. The Browns are in the midst of a front-office shakeup, making it hard to make any kind of deal with no clear future as of now. The Steelers and Ravens believe they have enough talent on their rosters to win the AFC North and compete for a Super Bowl berth, and don’t need to make a trade.
Despite rushing for 229 yards and revitalizing the Steelers running game in the past two weeks, RB Jonathan Dwyer still believes Rashard Mendenhall should start when he’s fully recovered from his Achilles injury. Mendenhall isn’t expected to play this week, and isn’t expected to be back in Pittsburgh once he becomes a free agent this offseason.
If there’s one thing Browns rookie RB Trent Richardson has been consistently not good at, its his ability to pound out those critical yards in short-yardage situations. Richardson currently is 2-for-7 on third-and-1 attempts, the worst mark in the NFL. He’s attributed to having typical rookie happy-feet, and has a habit of not hitting the right spot in these short-yardage plays.
In light of Sunday’s Ravens @ Browns showdown, Baltimore may be without their best return-man and surprising offensive threat in receiver Jacoby Jones, who was limited in Thursday’s practice with a foot injury, and his status for Sunday is up in the air.