- The big difference between the Browns and the Bengals that most fans don’t notice (Terry Pluto) - The Bengals have Joe Burrow at quarterback and the Browns don’t. That’s one difference between the two, who play Monday night at FirstEnergy Stadium. But something else is going on here, something I had no clue about until a few days ago.
- Ja’Marr Chase’s absence doesn’t minimize challenge Bengals present to Browns (Beacon Journal) - The disappointment was evident in Greg Newsome II’s voice. The Browns cornerback wasn’t talking about finding out about one of his teammates missing Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Instead, he was talking about finding out about arguably the Bengals’ best receiver, Ja’Marr Chase, not playing in the game.
- Mike Priefer explains what officials got wrong and right on Browns’ false start call vs. Ravens (cleveland.com) - Browns special teams coordinator Mike Priefer on Friday said the officials in Sunday’s matchup against the Ravens got the number of the player wrong when they called the field goal unit for a false start on a potential game-tying kick, but got the call correct.
- Long snapper Charley Hughlett signs 4-year extension (Browns Zone) - Long snapper Charley Hughlett is in it for the long haul. Hughlett signed a four-year contract extension Friday that runs through 2026. It includes the largest signing bonus, guarantee and overall value in league history for the position, agent Brett Tessler tweeted. The guaranteed money is $1.952 million and the bonus $865,000, according to NFL Network.
- Inside the week the Giants benched Eli Manning in favor of Geno Smith (ESPN) - On the morning of Dec. 3, 2017, Geno Smith took the field as the starting quarterback for the New York Giants. He was greeted by Giants fans who had made the 3,000-mile trip to the Oakland Coliseum. Giants fans, dressed in their No. 10 Eli Manning jerseys, had “Fire McAdoo” signs. They wanted head coach Ben McAdoo out. The final straw was McAdoo’s decision to have Smith, notorious in New York thanks to his tumultuous tenure with the Jets, start on that sunny, late fall afternoon in place of Manning.
- Bucs’ Shaquil Barrett out for rest of season with torn Achilles (Tampa Bay Times) - Bucs outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett has been lost for the season to a torn Achilles suffered in Thursday night’s home loss to the Ravens, coach Todd Bowles confirmed Friday.
- The Bengals offense has finally hit its stride. But is success here to stay? (The Ringer) - After a tough start to the season, Joe Burrow and Co. have rediscovered the big-play ability that brought them to the Super Bowl. But the offense has had to change once already to account for new defensive strategies: Will it be able to do it again?
- Niners rule out WR Deebo Samuel (hamstring) for Sunday’s game vs. Rams (NFL.com) - Deebo Samuel’s hamstring is going to keep him from going for a season sweep over the Rams. The 49ers receiver will not play in Sunday’s game against Los Angeles, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Friday.