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Bengals Bytes (12/24): Devon Still retires from the NFL

Devon Still and his daughter captured our hearts during their time in Cincinnati, but he is ending his NFL career.

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Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

What Lions coach Caldwell said about facing Cincinnati Bengals
Heading into Sunday’s matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell referred to both teams as “gritty” and dealing with adversity in terms of injuries. The difference is the Lions (8-6) come into Paul Brown Stadium on a two-game win streak and sitting in second in the NFC North, while the Bengals (5-9) have guaranteed themselves a losing season with three straight losses.

Devon Still announces retirement from football
Devon Still, who has inspired many Bengals fans and others since he played in Cincinnati from 2012 to 2014 while his daughter, Leah, fought courageously through treatment of Stage 4 neuroblastoma, announced his retirement from football Saturday on Instagram, acknowledging that "it's hard walking away from football" but he's "looking forward to the next phase."

BX: Bengals assistants left to wonder what's next
This time of year all attention ends up dedicated to which teams will move on from their head coaches. For the first time in 15 years, the Bengals look to be among them with Marvin Lewis expected to explore other opportunities following the final game of the year at Baltimore. Intrigue follows those final days, understandably, considering his status at the fabric of this franchise and city for the last decade and a half.

Doc: How Bengals' Michael Johnson unites cops, kids in mutual respect
We can change the world tomorrow if we can pardon the world today. Hope works best when married to forgiveness. That could explain why Michael Johnson, his hands up, his arms raised, a policeman’s service revolver trained on him, felt no fear or anger that night. Only disappointment.

Matchup of the Game: city of brotherly shove
Drs. Michele and Steven Glasgow, who fix football’s ferocious casualties for a living, “stonewalled,” their two oldest from the sport when they were young for as long as they could. The kids won and the fruits of their victory are on display Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 19) when Bengals 24-year-old rookie Ryan actually engages in brotherly shove against Lions second-year man Graham, 10 months his senior.

TDBH: Gregg’s bolt a ghost of future Christmas Eve legends
Super Bowl head coach Forrest Gregg’s decision today to leave the Bengals and coach his beloved Packers leaves the city and locker room stunned. Gregg’s return to Green Bay, where late Packers coach Vince Lombardi called him his greatest player while they were winning the first two Super Bowls, ignites four decades of Christmas Eve legends in Bengaldom. Eight years later on a Christmas Eve morning Bengals president Mike Brown sits down with Gregg’s successor, Sam Wyche, to discuss what he thinks is going to be Wyche’s ninth season and the two have enough of a disagreement that they can’t agree if Wyche is fired or resigned as the tenure of the club’s other Super Bowl coach also ends abruptly.

Bengals vs. Lions Game Notes
Cincinnati lost to the Minnesota Vikings 34-7 last week at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. It was the third straight loss for the Bengals, dropping them to 5-9 and officially eliminating their remaining chances to qualify for postseason. Detroit, which earned their second straight win last week with a 20-10 home victory vs. Chicago, comes to town with an 8-6 record and still is very much in the hunt for an NFC Wild Card spot. The game is the 2017 home finale for the Bengals, who close out the season next week at Baltimore.

Media Roundtable: X-Mas Eve surprise again?
The assumption is that Sunday’s game (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 19) is Marvin Lewis’ last at Paul Brown Stadium as head coach of the Bengals. If that isn’t distracting enough the 5-9 Bengals are trying to fend off 8-6 Detroit as the Lions sniff for the playoffs with a decimated roster that has 10 players on injured reserve, no starting tackles and linebackers, and another handful that are limping and may not play.

AFC North Bytes

Joe Flacco, Ravens Hang On for Win vs. Colts on Saturday Night Football
Quarterback Joe Flacco completed 29 of 38 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns as the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Indianapolis Colts 23-16 in rainy and windy conditions at M&T Bank Stadium. Slot receiver Michael Campanaro and tight end Maxx Williams caught Flacco's touchdown passes. For the Colts, running back Frank Gore scored the team's only touchdown en route to accumulating 86 yards from scrimmage. Wideout T.Y. Hilton caught six passes for 100 yards.

James Harrison Released by Steelers After 4 Seasons in 2nd Stint in Pittsburgh
With just two games left in the 2017 regular season, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced Saturday they released veteran linebacker James Harrison. Harrison was in his second stint with the Steelers after re-signing with the team in 2014. Steelers Wire's Neal Coolong wondered whether Harrison's time in Pittsburgh is officially over

Random Bytes

Jack Del Rio Reportedly Has '50-50' Chance of Returning as Raiders' Coach
Jack Del Rio's future with the Oakland Raiders is reportedly hanging in the balance. According to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, the chance Del Rio returns as the Raiders' head coach in 2018 is currently "a coin flip." Del Rio, 54, signed a four-year extension in February after he led the Raiders to their first postseason appearance since 2002.

Vikings Dominate Brett Hundley, Packers En Route to Saturday Night Football Win
The Minnesota Vikings are one step closer to securing a first-round bye in the postseason after knocking off the Green Bay Packers 16-0 in an NFC North showdown at Lambeau Field. With Aaron Rodgers placed on season-ending injured reserve this week, Minnesota's defense took full advantage of Green Bay with Brett Hundley at quarterback. The Packers could only muster 239 yards in defeat, with Hundley going 17-of-40 for 130 yards and two interceptions.

Stephen Curry Says He's 'Really Serious' About Panthers Ownership Bid
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry said he holds legitimate interest in joining a group to bid on the NFL's Carolina Panthers. The 29-year-old two-time NBA MVP, who played high school and college basketball in North Carolina, explained his outlook to ESPN's Rachel Nichols.