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Bengals Bytes (9/3): Starting early

The Bengals have started making moves to get to their final 53-man roster. The Ravens may be parting ways with a hometown favorite. Police are threatening to boycott 49er games.

Vontaze Burfict suspension plans? Help sister settle into college dorm

Burfict won’t be able to return to the playing field until Week 4 -- a Thursday night game against the Dolphins at Paul Brown Stadium. So what will he do during that time period? Burfict said he’ll spend some time with family and help his sister, an incoming freshman at college, get settled in her dorm.

Injured Bengals running back Cedric Peerman thanks fans for support

Cincinnati Bengals running back and special teams ace Cedric Peerman thanked fans for their support on Friday, days after fracturing his forearm in a preseason game against the Jaguars. Peerman posted a picture of himself on Twitter holding his infant son Emmaus in his lap, while his injured arm was wrapped up in a soft cast.

Last call

With the release of veteran safety Jimmy Wilson and wide receiver Mario Alford’s season-ending trip to injured reserve, the Bengals are poised to cut their roster to the 53-man limit Saturday afternoon. One move we know. They’ll put WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict on the suspended list. That leaves 20 more moves and for the first time in a while the key decisions revolve around the diagnosis of a couple of players. Most positions are clear cut. But the injuries are going to dictate who stays where.

Slants and screens: Vigil drops in

After Thursday night’s pre-season finale, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis gave rookie linebacker Nick Vigil the ultimate Marvian compliment as he recalled watching the Utah State tape before the draft.

Sub-plots as roster plays out

When Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis sat down his starters for Thursday’s pre-season finale against the Colts at Paul Brown Stadium, his roster was about as set as it has ever been for the final cut to 53. You’d think the wide receivers; both lines and both backfields are set. If there is anything unsettled, it is the last spot at a couple of spots.

Final prediction for Bengals' roster

The Bengals have started the process of cutting down from 75 to the final roster of 53. The deadline to make the final transactions is 4 p.m. on Saturday. On top of the 53 players, a 10-player practice squad will also be put together this weekend. Also, moves will likely be made by the Bengals plucking a player or two from those released by other teams, particularly to fill holes due to injury at running back to Cedric Peerman and cornerback to William Jackson III.

AFC North Bytes

Keenan Reynolds accepts possibility that he might not make Ravens' 53-man roster

Following Thursday night’s preseason game, Keenan Reynolds talked candidly about the possibility of not making the Ravens 53-man roster. Many people have been rooting for the former Navy quarterback to make a successful transition from college star to NFL wide receiver-returner.

Steelers first-rounder Artie Burns takes step forward in NFL debut

In his NFL debut, first-round pick Artie Burns looked like a player ready to compete for the third cornerback job with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The No. 25 overall pick shrugged off a few shaky moments early with multiple pass breakups Thursday against the Carolina Panthers, including a diving near-interception in the red zone. Burns failed to close a gap rush on a big Panthers rushing play in the first quarter, but he responded with active hands and the ability to break on routes.

Stephen Paea to Browns

The Cleveland Browns and defensive lineman Stephen Paea agreed to terms on a contract just days after he was cut by Washington. Paea, 28, announced his move to the Browns on Friday with a post on Twitter

Random Bytes

NFL - Rating every head coach's job security entering 2016 season

Just how hot will coach Gus Bradley's seat be if the Jaguars fail to better their record of 5-11 from last season? Our NFL Nation reporters assess the job security of each head coach.

Scott Van Pelt Talks About What’s Gone Right in One Year of Midnight SportsCenter | The Big Lead

Scott Van Pelt joins The Big Lead podcast. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since the last time we talked, but we’re coming up on the anniversary of the debut of his Midnight SportsCenter on September 7th. We discussed.

NFL draft 2017 Big Board: Ranking top 40 prospects

The NFL just announced that its 2017 draft will be held in Philadelphia, from April 27-29. So there’s a little less than eight months to go until all 32 teams descend on the City of Brotherly Love to select from a new group of prospects.

Santa Clara Police Union Threatens Boycott of 49ers Games Over Kaepernick Protest

Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice and police brutality, as well as his critical words directed at officers across the nation, have the Santa Clara police union saying its officers might stop working San Francisco 49ers home games.

NFL will assess new touchback rule after four weeks of the regular season

Amid signs that the NFL’s experiment regarding the touchback rule may go roughly as smoothly as Peter Brady’s volcano, the league won’t declare failure or success until after Week Four of the regular season, at the earliest.

Rob Ninkovich Suspended

The New England Patriots will be without one of their top pass-rushers to open the 2016 regular season, as Rob Ninkovich has been suspended for the first four games after testing positive for a banned substance.

Texans teammate worried J.J. Watt wouldn't play football due to health

J.J. Watt is insane. The 2015 NFL Defensive Player of the Year began the season with a broken hand (he played with a cast), had a herniated disk in his back at some point near midseason and ended his 2015 campaign with five partially or fully torn core muscles in his groin area.