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Bengals Bytes (11/22): Path to division crown goes through Cincinnati

Now that A.J. Green is out for the foreseeable future, Tyler Eifert will need to deal with double coverage. John Harbaugh knows the Ravens won’t have much of a shot at winning the division if they can’t beat the Bengals. Andrew Luck is in concussion protocol which should have a huge impact on the Colts’ game with the Steelers on Thursday.

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

Notes: Lewis expects Green to return; Nugent stays; Gio goes

The Bengals finally got some good news on the injury front Monday when head coach Marvin Lewis revealed A.J. Green has a strained hamstring that doesn’t require surgery and he expects him to return before the end of the season.

Cincinnati Bengals sticking with embattled kicker Mike Nugent

After missing a pair of PATs against the Bills, Mike Nugent was on the hot seat, but Bengals coach Marvin Lewis decided to stick with the veteran.

Marvin Lewis news conference transcript

We sustained some injuries yesterday. Gio (HB Giovani Bernard) has torn his ACL. That, I guess, has been reported. He’s just looking at his options right now, but he’ll likely have surgery here coming up. He’ll get that repaired, and he should have a good recovery. And then A.J. (Green) has a strained hamstring. We’ll for sure be without him this week, and it’ll just be a matter of how quickly he recovers through it. The other guys that got injured in the game, we’ll just see how they go. Right now, they’re kind of all day-to-day. We’ll see how they come through the week. But it was obviously the most significant (game) we’ve had in a few years, as far as injuries go in one ballgame. So that’s where we are with that.

Green, Bernard injuries will force offensive adjustment

Cincinnati Bengals first year offensive coordinator Ken Zampese will have to reimagine his offense this week in the run-up to Baltimore as 43.9 percent of his total offense and 31.8 percent of his scoring was stripped away from an already-struggling unit with a severe hamstring injury to wide receiver A.J. Green and a season-ending knee injury to running back Giovani Bernard. The duo has combined for 196 touches, 1,637 total yards and seven total touchdowns.

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert will draw double coverage with A.J. Green out

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green was able to keep his spirits up despite being carted off from Sunday's game against the Bills with a hamstring strain. He even had a few quips to shoot at Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert.

AFC North Bytes

John Harbaugh: Ravens not winning division if they can't beat Bengals

The Baltimore Ravens' biggest rival is the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it's looking like the AFC North title will come down to their Christmas Day showdown in Pittsburgh. But the Ravens' biggest obstacle over the years has been the Cincinnati Bengals, and Baltimore can take another step toward its first division title in four years (as well as knock Cincinnati out of the playoff race) with an elusive victory over the Bengals this Sunday.

Hue Jackson asks players for positivity, addresses postgame comments

After two prominent Browns players spoke up following the team’s latest loss, Browns coach Hue Jackson felt compelled to talk to them about keeping team business within the team.

Andrew Luck Injury: Updates on Colts Star's Possible Concussion and Return

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is one of the NFL's best when healthy, but the three-time Pro Bowler is dealing with injury issues once again, as he is in the concussion protocol, according to Mike Chappell of CBS 4. His official playing status for Week 12 against the Pittsburgh Steelers has yet to be announced.

Random Bytes

Oakland Raiders Continue Forging Path to Prime Playoff Seed with Win on MNF

Star wide receiver Amari Cooper had just two catches for 14 yards through three quarters. His fellow starting wideout, Michael Crabtree, produced five yards of offense on seven targets. Top back Latavius Murray had just 33 yards on 12 carries. Raiders receivers dropped several Derek Carr passes, and Carr threw a rotten second-half interception. And yet the Raiders won, 27-20.

Rex Ryan declares Jaguars “best two-win team I’ve ever seen”

Proving once and for all that everything is relative, Bills coach Rex Ryan has found a way to talk up a game between his 5-5 team and the 2-8 Jaguars.

Bill O’Brien treads lightly with officiating complaints

When it comes to the savings accounts of head coaches, the NFL’s charitable endeavors won’t be supported this week by Bill O’Brien. (Although they may be supported by Mike Tomlin.)

Saints hire Kevin O’Dea to help address special teams woes

Errors on special teams the last two weeks have proven disastrous in a pair of close losses for the New Orleans Saints. To address the problem, the Saints have added another coach to their staff in hopes of correcting any issues moving forward.