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Bengals Bytes (8/15): Turning down the NFL

The Bengals aren't close to their final 53-man roster, but we're getting a better idea what it may look like. Josh Gordon returned to practice. And, Adele said she won't be performing at halftime.

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A long way from 53
Other than not winning the game, Friday night’s pre-season opener against the Vikings went about as well as the Bengals could have hoped. Both starting units looked crisp. Young players, ranging from red-shirt freshmen (Marcus Hardison), draft picks (fifth-rounder Christian Westerman) and college free agents (Alex Erickson) emerged from all over. And players coming off last year’s season-ending injuries (James Wright and Marquis Flowers) looked healthy.

Bengals: Is Jeremy Hill's Hand Injury Concerning?
Jeremy Hill is attempting to rebound from a sub-par second year in the league, but now is trying to rebound from a hand injury he suffered Friday against the Vikings.

Bengals Beat Podcast: Reaction to preseason opener
Enquirer Bengals beat writers Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski react to the first preseason game of the year as the roster begins to shape itself for the regular-season opener.

AFC North Bytes

Phelps Calls Out Steelers Fan | Russell Street Report
Michael Phelps shows disdain towards a reporter wearing a Steelers jersey during the 2016 Olympics.

Steelers sign Hansen, Mosley-Smith and Whigham
The Steelers announced the signings of three players today. The players include three undrafted rookie free agents, offensive tackle Wade Hansen, defensive tackle Khaynin Mosley-Smith and cornerback Julian Whigham.

Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor not satisfied with performance in preseason opener
Terrelle Pryor held a funeral for complacency Sunday after the 12th practice of Browns training camp.

Josh Gordon takes part in walkthrough, has lost weight
The Browns are dealing with several injuries at wide receiver at the moment, but they’re drawing closer and closer to getting Josh Gordon fully back into the mix.

Random Bytes

Texans vs. 49ers - Game Recap
Blaine Gabbert had the stage to himself in San Francisco's quarterback competition with Colin Kaepernick nursing a sore shoulder and provided a strong finish to an uneven performance in the exhibition opener.

Hall of Fame will pick next three likely busts in the next two days
Barely a week after eight new busts went into the Hall of Fame, the folks responsible for determining the next finalists from the Seniors Committee and Contributors Committee will, as a practical matter, pick the first three busts of the Class of 2017.

Adele Says She Turned Down Super Bowl Halftime: 'That Show Is Not About Music'
During a concert in Los Angeles on Saturday, singer Adele told the crowd that she declined the NFL’s invitation to perform at the Super Bowl 51 halftime show.

With Increased Global Influence, Where Are the Next Big NFL Pipelines?
The Minnesota Vikings' Moritz Böhringer, a German native, and the New York Giants' Anthony Dable, who comes from France, aren't like their teammates or any of the other players who reported to training camp. These international prospects continue to pursue dreams of playing professionally while carrying the weight of nations and thousands around the world interested in following in their footsteps.