Around The AFC North: Courtney Upshaw's Conditioning Issues, Big Ben's Knee Procedure

Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE

We take a quick spin around the division to see the goings-on are with the Bengals' biggest rivals.

+Remember when former Alabama defensive end/linebacker Courtney Upshaw was a potential target for the Bengals in the 2012 Draft? Well he is apparently following a similar path as Andre Smith in his first couple of professional seasons with conditioning issues.

Per multiple reports, Upshaw has been dealing with some "personal issues" and needs to work back into "playing shape". According to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun, Upshaw is up to 285 pounds and needs to get back to around 270 pounds. It's a similar-sounding situation to the Bengals' Smith, though no reports have the Bengals' right tackle as having conditioning issues once again.

"I’ve got to drop a couple pounds and get ready for the season," Upshaw said Sunday during Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb's annual charity softball game at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. "My offseason has been kind of hectic. I had a personal issue where I had to handle that. Right now, I’m trying to get back into football shape.

"I was back and forth between Alabama and Baltimore, just real personal issues that I had to handle. Just trying to drop a couple pounds and get ready for the season."

Though he plays for a rival, we hope that all is well with both Upshaw and Smith. "Personal issues" can range from a lot of different circumstances and we sincerely hope that tragedy hasn't struck either player.

+Add another injury to the long list of ailments in Ben Roethlisberger's NFL career. According to multiple reports, Roethlisberger had a knee procedure done--similar to one he had in 2005--and he will be out until Training Camp. According to Ed Bouchette of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, head coach Mike Tomlin gave the thumbs up on having the procedure done.

Mike Tomlin said the surgery "was the result of slight discomfort this offseason."

"We advised him to get the surgery done to ensure he will be completely healthy for the start of training camp," Tomlin said.

For all of the ailments that "Big Ben" has endured in his career, he seems to bounce back quicker than the average player. Though his status is fuzzy, we don't expect this issue to keep him out of Training Camp, nor should it affect him in the regular season.

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