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Bengals Bytes (12/22): Getting into the spirit of giving

A few Bengals players are using their time off to help give back to the less fortunate during the season of giving.

Chicago Bears v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals are in the spirit of giving
A.J. Green had a busy Tuesday, as he first accompanied teammate Dre Kirkpatrick to give away 310 bicycles at St. Bernard Elementary and then he rolled up to West Price Hill to spend a few hours at the Sheakley Boys & Girls Club of Greater Cincinnati. “It was a very humbling experience,” Green said of the morning at St. Bernard. “Just having some of those kids come up to me like, 'my parents can’t afford this bike,' and we’re like no, they’re already paid for. Just seeing their looks on their face when they walked into the auditorium and they saw their bikes, man, it’s very humbling.”

Some injured Cincinnati Bengals return to practice field
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict practiced Thursday for the first time since suffering a concussion in the 23-20 loss to Pittsburgh on Dec. 4. Burfict, who is still in concussion protocol and prohibited from talking to the media, was listed as a limited participant. How he recovers from his first practice and how much he is able to do Friday will determine whether he plays Sunday in the home finale against Detroit.

Lions try to stay in contention vs down-and-out Bengals
Reaching the postseason was an annual thing when receiver Marvin Jones Jr. played four seasons with the Bengals. He's returning to Cincinnati for a game that his current team must win to have any chance of a playoff berth.

Bengals need to wipe the slate clean in search for new coach
If the Bengals want to reverse the trend of mediocrity that has settled over the franchise recently, while winning back a clearly disgruntled fan base, they need a fresh start. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is planning to leave the team at the conclusion of his contract, so the Bengals will be going through their first head-coaching search since 2003.

PBS upset fueled Lewis' overhaul
If you believe media reports all indications are that Sunday’s game against the Lions (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 19) is Marvin Lewis’ last Paul Brown Stadium game as head coach of the Bengals. The club’s current 5-9 state and rather slovenly way his potential exit became public last week has some wondering how the Christmas Eve crowd is going to treat him.

Fantasy Forecast: Week 16
First, owners need to know that the Rams placed K Greg Zuerlein on Injured Reserve Wednesday with a back injury. That means the #1 kicker in fantasy football is off the table for the final game. As a replacement, you should consider guys like Phil Dawson, Kai Forbath, Harrison Butker, and/or Jake Elliot. I don’t project kickers because their whole point system depends on the offense stalling in field goal range. But, these three have plus match-ups this week.

TDBH: Mates say farewell to Slim
The last time the Bengals came to New Orleans they brought their homegrown playmaker to open this NFL preseason against the Saints with native son Chris Henry catching 100 yards on seven passes and giving the youth football league standing on the sidelines the thrill of the summer when he caught a touchdown right in front of them. The dazed Bengals return today for Henry’s funeral in buses going over the Huey A. Long Bridge, named for another big-play guy. And like the man they called “Slim” always seemed to do, he puts on another show. “Look at all the people that came. It just shows you how many people Chris touched,” says Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko.

Bengals Legends to be Honored at Lions Game
The Bengals will celebrate Fan Appreciation Day at Sunday’s game against the Lions (1 p.m.). The Bengals will be giving away prizes throughout the game from the Bengals Pro Shop and team partners, including Bose, Fifth Third Bank, Mike’s Carwash, Buffalo Wings & Rings, EA Sports, Dunkin’ Donuts, Papa John’s Pizza, Gold Star Chili and Ohio Lottery.

Top 50 Moments: Lewis joins PB as AP Coach of the Year
In 1970 Brown led the Baby Bengals to their first division title in just their third year of existence. Nearly 40 years later Lewis won another division title at 10-6 with one of the league’s youngest rosters, and with 20.5 votes won with relative ease over the Saints’ Sean Payton (11.5) and the Chargers’ Norv Turner (9) in voting by a panel of 50 leading sports media figures.

AFC North Bytes

Browns claim linebacker Jeremy Cash off waivers
The Browns claimed linebacker Jeremy Cash off of waivers on Wednesday, the team announced. To make room for Cash, they waived linebacker Deon King. Cash is in his second NFL season out of Duke. He signed with Carolina as an undrafted free agent in 2016 and appeared in nine games with the Panthers. He appeared in one game with the Panthers this season before spending five weeks on the Jets' practice squad. The Miami, Florida native has been on the Giants' active roster the past three weeks but he did not appear in a game.

Steelers to continue light RB rotation without James Conner
Le'Veon Bell remains on track for about 348 carries on the season, but the Steelers are taking a slightly different approach to his usage. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley noted Thursday that, unlike in 2016, Bell got heavy reps through the heart of the campaign. Bell spent the first three games of the 2016 season suspended for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Random Bytes

Seahawks Fined by NFL for Failure to Apply Concussion Protocol to Russell Wilson
The Seattle Seahawks have been fined $100,000 by the NFL for failing to properly utilize concussion protocol with quarterback Russell Wilson. In a statement released by the NFL (via NFL Network's James Palmer), as part of a joint review by the NFL and NFL Players Association, it was determined there was "a failure in the application" by the Seahawks

NFL Head of Officials Tells Refs Not to Use Note Cards on 1st Down Measurements
Al Riveron, the NFL senior vice president of officiating, has told referees not to use note cards while measuring first downs during games, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. The issue came up during Sunday's game between the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders when the officials awarded the Cowboys a first down late in the fourth quarter of a tie game with the aid of a note card on a close spot.

Jadeveon Clowney Sent Trash Cans by Jaguars Fans After DE Ripped Blake Bortles
Jaguars fans are defending their quarterback. According to Michael DiRocco of ESPN, fans spent Thursday sending trash cans to Jadeveon Clowney's house in response to his comments against Blake Bortles. The Houston Texans defensive end referred to Bortles as "trash" after his team's 45-7 blowout loss to Jacksonville Sunday, per Sarah Barshop of ESPN.