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Bengals Bytes (9/22): Early poaching

There aren’t currently any head coaching positions open, but teams could be looking at one of Cincinnati’s coaches to replace their coaches. Josh Gordon is in the news again. Richard Sherman makes a statement.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Can Cincinnati Bengals stop Broncos' Von Miller, the NFL sack leader?

The defending Super Bowl champion Broncos come to Cincinnati this week, and the Bengals are tasked with trying to slow down Von Miller's pass-rush.

The Next Big Thing: Meet Ken Zampese, the Next Big Head Coach Candidate

Ken Zampese laughs hard when he's told he is standing on the springboard that should launch him into an NFL head coaching career. "I haven't called a play in the NFL yet," he told B/R during the offseason, once the laugh subsided. "That's the last thing on my mind."

Cincinnati Bengals run game needs quick fix with Broncos up next

The Cincinnati Bengals have the unlucky task of trying to ignite a struggling run game on the week the Denver Broncos come into town. Last season, the Broncos allowed only 83.6 rushing yards per game. Two weeks into the new season, the defending Super Bowl champions haven’t appeared to miss a beat on defense.

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green's son born Wednesday, won't miss game

Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green said he would choose witnessing the birth of his child over playing in a football game, if it came down to it. He won't have to make that decision now.

Cincinnati Bengals' Karlos Dansby wants to be best to have ever played

As soon as Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Karlos Dansby heard the question, he started laughing. "Do you think they might try to limit your snap count in the future?" he was asked.

Eifert's return to practice a red (zone) flag

By this time last year, heading into the third game of the season, the Bengals had scored six red-zone touchdowns and three of them were on Andy Dalton passes to tight end Tyler Eifert. With Eifert (ankle) shelved for the first two games, the Bengals have merely been in the red zone six times, never mind six TDs. Try one touchdown and no touchdown passes. Second to last in the NFL. Any connection isn’t purely coincidental.

Notes: Eifert returns; A&M showdown; Sunday sold out, Dolphins game close; Greens draw an Ace

After the Bengals whiffed on five of their first six red-zone chances this season, Tyler Eifert emerged Wednesday for his first practice since Wild Card week back in January. Eifert, who hurt his ankle in the Pro Bowl after leading all NFL tight ends with 13 touchdowns, would have to be questionable when it comes to lending his magic inside the foes’ 20 in time for Sunday’s sold-out Paul Brown Stadium opener (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) against the Super Bowl champion Broncos.

Hobson's Choice: calls and hauls

Dalton and the defense have carried them. I really think two of the more underrated quarterbacks in the NFL were on display in Pittsburgh Sunday. Maybe it’s because we see Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger twice a year, but why he’s not mentioned with Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers as one of the league’s best is beyond me. What more can a guy do? He’s got two or three guys hanging all over him on a lot of his throws and he still it gets there, turning almost every play into the possibility of a big-play-play-ground completion.

The matchup: Andy Dalton vs. Broncos corners

They’re waiting. Lurking. Ready to pick off a pass and make an opponent pay. They’re Denver cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr., and they could make Andy Dalton’s day difficult Sunday when the Broncos face the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

Notes: Bengals draw ref from playoff loss to Steelers; practice report

The National Football League has assigned referee John Parry and his crew to the Cincinnati Bengals’ home opener on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. Parry was last on the turf at Paul Brown Stadium on Jan. 9 for the AFC Wild Card game when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Bengals 18-16.

Bengals' new corner looks, feels good in Cincinnati

Alone in the Cincinnati Bengals’ auxiliary locker room, among dozens of large, damp, black coats still drying from Sunday, KeiVarae Russell spent part of his Monday getting his bearings. He put on his shoulder pads, tightening them up and adjusting the fit. He moved some of his clothes around in an unmarked locker, asked one of the equipment guys about the rack of color rush jerseys – and perhaps most importantly – laid out his new No. 20 jersey in orange, black and white for a social media post.

AFC North

Browns receiver Josh Gordon slapped with warrant in paternity case

A warrant is out for the arrest of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon in connection with a paternity suit. Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Judge Alison Floyd authorized the arrest warrant Aug. 31.

Film Room: How Pittsburgh Shut Down A.J. Green

Two catches for 36 yards. That's what the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to hold A.J. Green to, arguably the worst performance of his career against the Steelers. We know Ross Cockrell spent most of the day on him but it takes more than just a name to shutdown a top five receiver. So how did the Steelers do it? I break down five examples of it in the video below.

Ravens' Run Game 'A Work In Progress,' But May Be On The Cusp Of Breaking Out

The Ravens are 2-0 so far without a strong run game. They’re happy, but that doesn’t mean they’re content with continuing to win games that way. And the passing offense would get a boost with more success running the football.

Random Bytes

Injury roundup: Ivory returns to practice; Kalil to IR

Things are turning up for the winless Jaguars. The team announced that running back Chris Ivory will return to practice on Wednesday, albeit on a limited basis, after sitting out the past two weeks.

QB Index: Eli Manning flips script; Aaron Rodgers flat

While Peyton Manning ambles around the checkout counter on Sunday mornings, his football spirit lives on in New Jersey. Ignore the uniform and facial expressions. Watch Eli Manning's game over the last two weeks and you'll find evidence, however circumstantial, that he's switched souls with Peyton, like a reboot of some dopey '80's movie.

Ezekiel Elliott of Dallas Cowboys has family and friends worrying if he is ready for primetime

Driving on a long stretch of road on a late-summer day, Stacy Elliott cannot shake one thought: His son is in trouble. It is late August, and Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott is still awaiting word from an Ohio prosecutor's office about whether he'll be charged with domestic violence. A month has passed, and Stacy doesn't understand the holdup. Every day that goes by, he says, reputations are further sullied. Stacy is transporting Ace, his son's rottweiler, from Columbus to Zeke's new home in Dallas. The dog makes nary a sound, and the solitude gives Stacy too much time to think.

Adrian Peterson Injury Update: Vikings RB to Undergo Knee Surgery

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson exited the Vikings' Week 2 win over the Green Bay Packers with a torn meniscus and did not return to the field. He is set to undergo surgery on his injured knee, which could keep him out of action for months. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Peterson said he will have surgery to repair his meniscus Thursday.

Crunch Time Of The NFL Season Is Right Now

In the NFL, every single game is important. Each one represents more than 6 percent of a team’s season, and one win is often the difference between making the playoffs and not, between getting a bye and playing on wild-card weekend, or between playing at home and playing on the road. But even within the every-game-matters paradigm, the first weeks of the NFL season are special.

Richard Sherman Comments on Recent Police Shootings

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman used his weekly media availability Wednesday to talk about the deaths of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott, both of whom were shot by police over the last week. The Associated Press' Tim Booth shared a clip of Sherman's comments.

Are the Vikings Still Playoff Contenders with Sam Bradford?

The historical Vikings, in their rich tradition, used holmgangs to settle disputes. The party left standing after the battle was ruled just in its claim. The 2016 Minnesota Vikings are exercising their right to a holmgang against the rest of the NFL after acquiring quarterback Sam Bradford. In less than a month, the Vikings morphed from a Super Bowl contender led by Teddy Bridgewater and star running back Adrian Peterson into Bradford's team.