Around AFC North: Mendenhall will start

Around AFC North: Mendenhall will start
November 17, 2012, 1:45 am
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The Steelers may be missing some key players for Sundays' game vs. the Ravens, but Rashard Mendenhall is expected to reclaim his role as the starting running back.

Mendenhall, who had knee surgery last season, and has been slow to recover, also has been dealing with a sore Achilles. Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman have been filling in, each having a 100-yard rushing performance in three of the last four games for Pittsburgh.

"It's going to be tough to be able to deal with all three of us," Redman said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Steelers are expected to dress all six running backs for the games.

The Ravens rank near the bottom of the NFL in almost every defensive statistical category.

Cleveland Browns: Kick return Joshua Cribbs cracked under questioning about his reduced role.

Going into Sunday’s game at the Dallas Cowboys, Cribbs told the Plain Dealer: “I feel like I'm trapped. I feel like a caged athlete."

Cribbs only has touched the ball in the offense eight times, six receptions for 54 yards and a pair of runs totaling 8. Known as a game-changer, Cribbs is third in the NFL in kickoff return average and fourth in punts.

He has taken a sharp downturn under second-year coach Pat Shurmur. Cribbs caught a career-high 41 passes for 518 yards and four touchdowns in 2011.

"Me going from being able to run the wildcat, to playing receiver last season and catching 41 passes and four touchdowns to nothing, I can't believe it," said Cribbs told the Plain Dealer. "By me not playing, I feel like they think I'm not good, that I've lost it. But I haven't. I feel when I'm out there I can contribute, but I'm not able to."

Cribbs is in the final year of his contract.

Bengals: Receiver Andrew Hawkins was added to the injury report as questionable because he tweaked his knee in practice Friday. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, it isn’t serious and he could be a game-time decision when the Bengals meet the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Linebacker Rey Maualuga was fined $15,750 for unnecessary roughness for his hit on N.Y. Giants receiver Domenik Hixon during the first quarter of their game a week ago.