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Marvin Lewis Hasn’t Been Given Any Assurances He’ll Last the Season as Bengals Coach

One year after two late wins against Detroit and Baltimore went a long way to sway Bengals owner Mike Brown to retain Marvin Lewis for a 16th season, it would be hard to see a premature move before the traditional meeting between the two the day after the season ends.

Lewis said on Monday he has been given no assurances that the team would wait until the end of the year, Paul Dehner of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

“No, and I wouldn’t expect any or ask for any,” Lewis said. “The least of my worries.”

When Lewis was asked if he wants to coach next season, he merely stated, “my job is to coach the football team.”

Last year, Brown admitted after retaining Lewis his preference to letting the season conclude.

“I chose not to make a decision on what we were going to do going forward until all the evidence had been submitted,” Brown told The Enquirer in January. “And that meant playing through the full season and not making a call prematurely.”

Four weeks of evidence remain, starting with a game at the streaking Los Angeles Chargers (9-3) this Sunday. Technically, the Bengals (5-7) have not been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs though their chances of making it are almost impossibly slim. They would need to finish 4-0 as well as get some help from across the league.

Brown admitted before the season started, those half-empty stadiums do leave a mark on him.

“Of course I worry about attendance figures,” Brown said in July. “I’ve been able to add and subtract for a long time. I can look out there. I see what you see. Does it bother me? It bothers me to my core. I don’t like it, and I dearly want to get us back to where we have the enthusiasm and the support that I think we want. That’s a big goal.”

“The only way we win back the fans is to win football games,” Lewis said. “It’s been true the whole time we have been here. We have to win games to get people to come out and enjoy it on Sunday. That’s what the goal is. The players can’t be affected by that. They just have to go play. I tell them they have to bring their own energy. It’s got to be up to them. It’s us, that’s what counts.”

Bengals WR A.J. Green in a Walking Boot; No Word on Playing Status

Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green was spotted in a walking boot on Monday but head coach Marvin Lewis declined to update his status according to Fletcher Page of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Green had been out since Week 8 with a toe injury but returned to the field on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

He did not stay there long as he crumpled to the ground with a non-contact foot injury after catching one pass for seven yards and was carried off in a cart.

Apparently the Bengals will update his status when they return to practice on Wednesday but it seems likely he is done for the season. Even with the coaching staff struggling to save their jobs, it would be foolish to risk the team’s best offensive weapon further in a lost season with a backup quarterback.

Season Over for Bengals QB Andy Dalton After Thumb Surgery

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is undergoing thumb surgery and has been placed on injured reserve, ending his 2018 season according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.com.

Dalton was knocked out of Sunday’s home loss to the Cleveland Browns while trying to recover a bad snap that ended up as a Browns turnover. There was initial optimism in the Bengals locker room about the injury but it was clear the news would not be good when the Bengals claimed human turnover machine Tom Savage on waivers early Monday afternoon.

Athletic but erratic Jeff Driskel, a 2016 sixth-round pick out of Louisiana Tech, will finish the season as the starting quarterback for the Bengals.

So another promising season for Dalton and the Bengals goes down the drain. The team started out 2-0 and had visions of returning to the playoffs but those hopes are pretty much nonexistent now.

Dalton, who turned 31 last month, finished the 2018 campaign with a 21:11 TD-to-INT ratio and averaged 7.0 yards per attempt, once again reasserting himself as a mid-range to below-average NFL starter. The Bengals can save $16.2 million in salary cap space by releasing Dalton in the offseason with zero dead money.

Report: Ravens OL Marshal Yanda Spat at Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict During Sunday’s Game

Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has the reputation-and deservingly so-for being one of the NFL’s dirtiest players but he was the recipient of a dirty play by Ravens offensive lineman Marshal Yanda on Sunday according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.com.

Yanda reportedly spat at Burfict as the linebacker was lying on the ground. Smith stated that the video of the incident is clear: There’s a pileup with some pushing and shoving on both sides, and Burfict is in the middle of it, as he so often is. But afterward, Yanda stood up and leaned over Burfict, and spit clearly came out of Yanda’s mouth and toward Burfict. It is unclear whether the spit actually landed on Burfict as the linebacker did not react but the intent was clear.

The NFL has disciplined players for spitting on opponents in the past and Yanda should expect a hefty chunk taken out of his paycheck later in the week.

Report: Bengals WR A.J. Green’s Toe Injury Could Keep Him Out Until December

It appears likely that Bengals wide out A.J. Green will be out until at least December with a toe injury, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports via Katherine Terrell of ESPN.

Green avoided surgery on the toe he injured against the Buccaneers in Week 8, just prior to the Bengals’ bye week. While the initial prediction was that he would be out at least two games, an early December return would have him missing three — against the Saints on Sunday, and versus the Ravens and Browns in Weeks 11 and 12.

Green was wearing a walking boot on his right foot Friday, although he also took it off and walked around without it. He declined to speak to reporters until he makes his return.

Steelers Players Upset Over Vontaze Burfict’s Hit on Antonio Brown

A number of Steelers players spoke out strongly against Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict for his elbow to Antonio Brown’s head in the third quarter of Pittsburgh’s 28-21 win on Sunday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports.

Right tackle Marcus Gilbert says Burfict should be suspended for the play.

“That’s pathetic. The NFL has to do something about that,” Gilbert said. “A guy like that, going out there intentionally trying to hurt people, there’s no need for that kind of playing in this league. It’s sad. One of these days he’ll grow up.”

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL is reviewing three plays that Burfict was involved during the game to determine the appropriate level of discipline. Those three plays are his elbow on Brown, and two plays in the second half in which he led with his helmet.

Brown caught a pass over the middle and was tackled by two Bengals defenders when Burfict flew in with his right elbow, connecting with Brown’s upper body/head area. Brown was down on the turf for a few seconds and got evaluated by the team on the sideline before re-entering the game.

After the game, Brown called the play a “nasty hit.”

“Thank God I was able to come back in the game to finish the game,” he said.

Burfict has a long history of egregious hits, fines and suspensions since entering the league in 2012. He served a four-game suspension to start the 2018 season for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Burfict hasn’t played more than 11 games in a year since 2013.

The league has emphasized protecting quarterbacks with revised roughing the passer calls, but guard David DeCastro would like to see receivers protected as well.

“It’s tough to see AB get hit like that,” he said. “With all the emphasis on quarterback safety, what about a guy like AB — a superstar he is in this league, how much money he’s getting paid, how much he means to this team? A cheap shot like that, I thought was unnecessary. … If they want to talk about making this game safer, maybe they will do something. Or maybe they will put in a new rule that no one is going to call when it matters. Maybe it’s a PR stunt.”

Steelers vs Bengals NFL Week Six Inactives

Here’s today’s inactives for the Steelers and Bengals matchup in Cincinnati.

Steelers

S Marcus Allen
OT Zach Banner
S Morgan Burnett
LB L.J. Fort
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
QB Mason Rudolph
DE Leterrius Walton

Bengals

RB Giovani Bernard
TE Tyler Kroft
OT Cedric Ogbuehi
C Billy Price
WR John Ross
WR Auden Tate
DT Adolphus Washington

Dolphins at Bengals NFL Week Five Inactives

Here’s today’s inactives for the Bengals and Dolphins from Paul Brown Stadium in Cincy.

Dolphins

DE Andre Branch
TE A.J. Derby
QB David Fales
CB Bobby McCain
WR DeVante Parker
OT Zach Sterup
DE Cameron Wake

Bengals

RB Giovani Bernard
LB Malik Jefferson
OT Cedric Ogbuehi
C Billy Price
WR John Ross
WR Auden Tate
DT Josh Tupou