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Bengals Bytes (11/9): Best and worst of Bengals at the midway point

The best and worst of the Bengals after they have finished half of their season. Tyler Boyd returns to practice on a limited basis. Jerry Jones looking to take legal action against Rodger Goodell

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

TDBH: Boomer kicks off reunion tour with relief win
Five years and a day after his last Bengals touchdown pass, Boomer Esiason comes off the bench midway through the third quarter today looking like the 1988 NFL MVP instead of a 36-year-old backup to quarterback three straight touchdown drives in place of a woozy Jeff Blake and take the Bengals from a 10-7 deficit to a 28-13 victory over the winless Colts. After tours with the Jets and Cardinals, Esiason has returned to the Bengals on a one-year deal to back up Blake and even though he gives a limping 2-7 offense hope on a lightning crisp seven of 10 passing for 82 yards during a mere 22 minutes, head coach Bruce Coslet is having none of it.

O-line gets some seasoning
Houston, home of the World Series champion Astros, just lost a fall baseball coach. But it was out of the six-year-old division, where Eric Winston coached his son until this week when the Bengals called him back to provide depth for an offensive line still trying to find its way when the second half of the season starts Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 19) in Tennessee. The Bengals’ youth movement up front has slowed considerably now that Winston, their second-oldest player who turns 34 next week, is back in the fold, right tackle Andre Smith, 30, assumes the starting right tackle position he had for eight seasons until they let him go to free agency two years ago, and Jake Fisher’s first season as the starting right tackle ends with an undisclosed illness.

Lewis, Dalton News Conference Transcripts 11/8
The Titans have done a good job throughout the season, obviously (they won) their last three (games) and played very well a week ago against Baltimore — the game was back and forth a little bit. (The Titans) were able to gain control of the game, and Baltimore fought back into the game. We know going down (to Nashville), it’s always going to be a task — you have to play error-free and make sure we handle our business a lot better than we did a week ago. Offensively, they are big and strong with their guys.

Quick hits: Lewis says Fisher should recover to play; Bullock still iffy; Boyd returns limited
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis wouldn’t reveal right tackle Jake Fisher’s season-ending illness, but he said at his Wednesday news conference his initial impression is doesn’t think it is career-threatening. Lewis said the medication Fisher is going to be using isn’t conducive to a contact sport.

Best, worst of Bengals at midseason
The Bengals sit at 3-5 and can only call the first eight games unpredictable as they featured close losses, blowout defeats, a defensive play saving the day and the firing of a coordinator. Here's a look at the midpoint awards – both good and bad – from the Enquirer Bengals beat writers Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski.

Bengals' Randy Bullock: Misses practice Wednesday
Bullock was held out of Sunday's 23-7 loss to the Jaguars, prompting the Bengals to sign Marshall Koehn in advance of the contest to handle kicking duties. Though it's not believed that Bullock's back issue is a long-term concern,

Bengaldom's First 50 hands it to Ross
Bengaldom holds on to the late great Dan Ross like that 19-yard catch he scraped off the Riverfront Stadium ice rink for Ken Anderson’s longest throw in the Freezer Bowl. If it’s not one of the greatest catches in the history of the franchise, it certainly has to be one of the more unworldly on that supernatural day of a minus-nine wind chill.

AFC North Bytes

Ben Roethlisberger: I'm Having 'As Good A Season' Above The Neck Maybe As Ever
Statistically, the 2017 season has easily been among the worst of his career, but Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is not willing to attribute that to mental mistakes. Speaking to reporters yesterday, he said that he feels he has been playing as well above the neck as he ever has.

Josh Gordon Says His Goal Is to Become Best WR of All Time
Cleveland Browns star Josh Gordon is still aiming to become the greatest wide receiver in NFL history despite missing the most of the past four seasons through suspension. Mary Kay Cabot‏ of passed along comments Gordon made Wednesday as he works toward a potential return after being reinstated last week.

Random Bytes

Jerry Jones Is Said to Hire David Boies to Block Roger Goodell’s Contract
Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys and one of the N.F.L.’s most powerful figures, has escalated his feud with Commissioner Roger Goodell, threatening to sue the league and some fellow team owners over negotiations to extend Goodell’s contract, according to three people with direct knowledge of the situation.

Martellus Bennett Cut by Packers After Less Than 1 Year with Team
Bennett, who signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Packers in March, missed Green Bay's Week 9 loss to the Detroit Lions with a shoulder injury and had already been ruled out for Week 10's clash with the Chicago Bears, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Ben McAdoo 'Has Lost This Team,' Giants 'Giving Up,' Anonymous Players Say
Frustration has reportedly reached a boiling point in the Meadowlands. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, a pair of anonymous New York Giants players reached out to her recently and criticized head coach Ben McAdoo for losing the locker room.