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Bengals Bytes (10/14): Double trouble

The Bengals will have to deal with the top tight end duo in the NFL against the Patriots. Joe Thomas shares a funny story about dealing with Cleveland’s quarterback carousel. Donald Trump makes light of concussions.

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NFL: New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Listen: Lap talks about the return of Tyler Eifert

Mo Egger asked Dave Lapham when he thinks we will see Tyler Eifert on the field again. His answer wasn't all that reassuring and his hope is prior to the bye, but there's no certainty there.

Bengals notes: Belichick, Lewis share respect; Eifert, Green miss practice

The two longest-tenured head coaches in the National Football League have a long history with one another, dating back to AFC North battles between Bill Belichick’s Cleveland Browns and Marvin Lewis’ Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1990s.

Bengals' Brandon LaFell brings lessons learned from Patriots back to Gillette Stadium

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Brandon LaFell has taken a piece of every place he's gone throughout his football career. He learned to be tough from Ravens receiver Steve Smith Sr. -- then with the Panthers. Smith, an undersized receiver who has never been known to back down from a fight, remains in the league, and continues to post 100-yard games at age 37.

Six degrees for Bengals-Pats

A generation removed from his death, the NFL is still truly The Six Degrees of Paul Brown. Especially when it comes to Bill Belichick. Just look at the thread running through Sunday’s game in New England (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) between the Bengals and the Patriots. It is William Miller Edwards, the boyhood friend and lifetime coaching confidant of Paul Brown and the godfather of Belichick. Belichick, the Patriots’ chess-master of a head coach is the turn-of-the-century book-end to the innovative Brown midwifing modern pro coaching in post-war Cleveland.

Thursday hits: Green returns; No Eifert sighting as TE summit looms in Foxboro

Do you want the good news or bad news first? No sign of Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert (back) again at Thursday morning’s practice, but Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green (calf) was back to work after sitting out Wednesday’s practice. Left guard Clint Boling also checked back in after getting a day off to heal the shoulder he injured against Miami a few weeks ago.

Fantasy Forecast: Week 6

The bye week may hurt fantasy owners because we have to figure out who to substitute in for our regular starters. But, the truth is, the week after a bye is usually more fruitful than the week before it because the team has had a chance to work on their struggles. For that reason, I’m looking for Week 6 to be productive for guys like Brandin Cooks, Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Julius Thomas, Russell Wilson, and Jamaal Charles.

New England’s tight end duo a new challenge for Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals allowed 100 receiving yards and a touchdown to New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski the last time they played against him, although the Torched by Gronk club has pretty robust membership these days. It’s what New England’s second tight end did that day in Foxboro in early October of 2014 that should concern Cincinnati.

Bengals try to ‘ignore the noise,' Green back at practice

The Bengals try to block out the negativity around the team's 2-3 record, Darrin Simmons takes a hard look at his special teams unit and A.J. Green returned to practice on Thursday.

Bengals in Focus with PFF: Problems on the offensive line

Every week, we sit down to talk Bengals with a lead analyst at Pro Football Focus, an advanced analytics website headquartered in Cincinnati off Main St. in Over-the-Rhine. PFF is a service used by 19 out of the 32 NFL teams and analyzes every player on every play of every game to aid in game research. This week, we talk to lead PFF analyst Steve Palazzolo about why Andy Dalton endured so much pressure this year. He's been sacked 17 times for a loss of 90 yards in five games. In his 13 games last season, Dalton was sacked just 12 times.

AFC North

Insider Buzz: Sources Believe Ravens Owner Had Strong Hand in Firing of Trestman

The Baltimore Ravens fired offensive coordinator Marc Trestman after the team's 16-10 loss to the Washington Redskins. How much of a role did owner Steve Bisciotti and quarterback Joe Flacco play in Trestman's dismissal?

Joe Thomas Once Introduced Himself to a Browns QB in the Huddle

The Cleveland Browns have started 26 different quarterbacks since returning to the NFL in 1999. Don't feel bad if you don't know all of them, as you aren't alone. Per Scott Patsko of, Cleveland left tackle Joe Thomas once introduced himself to former Browns QB Josh Johnson in the huddle during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers back in 2012

Pittsburgh Steelers' Sammie Coates goes from club to soft cast

Coates got stitches in his hand at halftime of the Steelers' 31-13 win over the New York Jets last Sunday and played through the game, albeit with several drops, to record six catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns. On Monday, Coates wore a large wrap on his left hand and arm, much like those worn by linemen nursing injuries on game days. Switching to the sock-like covering with plastic supports is progress, Coates said.

Random Bytes

After Kaepernick's protest, singers question anthem

NEW YORK (AP) — Grammy-winning R&B singer Anthony Hamilton has sung the national anthem in the past. Don't ask him to sing it in the near future. Hamilton's frustration with "The Star-Spangled Banner" is shared by some other black Americans, who feel like the tune sung before major U.S. events is not the best representation of all Americans.

Donald Trump, Republican presidential candidate, criticizes 'softer NFL rules' on concussions

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took a dig at "softer NFL rules" regarding concussions during a campaign stop in Lakeland, Florida, on Wednesday.

Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen Week 6 notebook - Mike Zimmer channeling his inner Bill Parcells

Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen analyze the relationship between Mike Zimmer and Bill Parcells, looming QB decisions in the AFC East, Dan Quinn vs. his old team, and much more.

Pastarītis | The Players' Tribune

When I was growing up in Latvia, my older brothers, Janis and Martins, had a nickname for me. It wasn’t Porzee. It wasn’t KP. It was pastarītis. Pastarītis is an old Latvian slang term meaning "youngest child in the family," but the way my brothers used it, it meant aloof. They would say it all the time. When I’d mess up or something, they’d yell, "Yo, pastarītis!" I’d be like, "No, I’m not pastarītis!" I guess they would call me that because on the court, I would live in the moment — I’m just playing basketball. I’m not thinking about much else. I’m not really overthinking every outcome and every scenario. To my brothers, maybe, it would appear that I wasn’t really paying attention to what was going on around me. In tough situations, maybe a normal kid would be like Man, I don’t know if I can do this. I was like, F*** it. I’m going to do it.

Chargers' win could serve as exorcism over AFC West

Head in hands, crouched near the ground, Chargers coach Mike McCoy looked like a man near the end of his rope during another tight game late Thursday night. You'd never know that his team led by eight points with 15 seconds left at the time.

Steve Young Discusses Timing of 49ers Announcing Colin Kaepernick as Starting QB

The San Francisco 49ers' 1-4 start has prompted changes under center, as the team decided to bench starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert in favor of Colin Kaepernick on Tuesday.