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Bengals Bytes (12/7): Teaming up with the U.S. Marine Corps for Toys for Tots collection

The Bengals and the U.S. Marine Corps are teaming up to collect toys for Toys for Tots. The Bengals still have a slim hop at the playoffs, but just how slim is that hope?

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NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals injury report is longest of the season
The Cincinnati Bengals could have trouble fielding a full roster of 46 Sunday against Chicago after nine players sat out Wednesday’s practice with injuries, six of whom were hurt in Monday’s 23-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers unpredictable NFL punishment
The Cincinnati Bengals must be finding themselves in a glass case of emotion today. On top of sifting through all the feelings still trickling and simmering from Monday’s 23-20 loss to the Steelers, there is dealing with word that safety George Iloka ended up suspended for his hit on Antonio Brown’s touchdown in the fourth quarter. I’d call Iloka’s suspension a surprise. I get the impression Iloka was on watch already by the league for hits earlier this season and this one in very public view drew the hammer.

Cincinnati Bengals 2 games behind Baltimore Ravens for wild card
The Cincinnati Bengals’ playoff hopes took a big hit as they let Monday night’s game against the Steelers slip away , but as disappointing as the loss was, there is no time to dwell. Despite questions still centering around Pittsburgh on Wednesday when the team returned from an off day, the Bengals (5-7) were ready to move on.

Steelers kicker thinks Bengals tried to hurt him before game-winning field goal
Steelers kicker Chris Boswell believes the Bengals attempted to injure him before he could kick the game-winning field goal on Monday night. When Pittsburgh initially lined up for the field goal, Cincinnati’s Josh Shaw jumped offside so far he was practically in front of the ball when Boswell kicked, and on Boswell’s follow-through his foot hit Shaw. Boswell said that hurt.

John Ross of Cincinnati Bengals put on injured reserve with shoulder injury
The Bengals have placed rookie wide receiver John Ross on injured reserve, quietly bringing the bizarre season of the No. 9 overall pick to an end. Ross missed practice with a shoulder injury on Wednesday, even though he had not been on the injury report and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis had said only hours before that he had a chance to play Sunday. Ross was placed on injured reserve shortly afterward.

Bengals and U.S. Marine Corps Team Up for 2017 Toys for Tots Collection
The Bengals and the U.S. Marine Corps are teaming up for the annual Toys for Tots Collection, which will take place on Sunday, Dec. 10, prior to the Bengals’ home game against the Chicago Bears. U.S. Marine Corps volunteers will be at all entrances to Paul Brown Stadium with PODS to collect new, unwrapped toys and cash donations. Gates open at 11:30 a.m.

Quick hits: Mates applaud Iloka reprieve; Simmons calls claim 'ridiculous';Marv comforts Shazier
George Iloka got the word that he had won his appeal just in time to dress for Wednesday’s practice. Which made Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis happy since A) he was surprised Iloka got suspended a game in the first place for his hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown Monday night and B) that’s one more starter he’ll have on his decimated defense.

Lewis, Dalton News Conference Transcripts 12/6
At this point, we just have to handle our business and worry about what we can control, and that’s trying to win every game we play. We’ve been in this position before and made it. I think we made it our first year (2011) — we had to have help, and we were able to make it happen and end the year 9-7. At this point, we’ve just got to win and hope everything falls into place.

Ross sees his season end on injured reserve
Bengals No. 1 pick John Ross’ injury-marred season fittingly came to an end Wednesday when he went on season –ending injured reserve with one of the toughest stat lines for any rookie in club history: Three games, 17 snaps, two targets, one run, 12 yards, one fumble. No catches.

TBDH: Rookie Cobb’s two interceptions fuel shutout, but Magic number is one
The Bengals, who still have designs on an AFC Central title, win a 10th game for the first time in their history to move to 10-2 with a 31-0 victory over the sad-sack Eagles. With two games to play the magic number is one with Baltimore to secure a Wild Card spot after they bury former Bengals draft pick Mike Boryla with three interceptions on his 18 passes before he’s benched in favor of Roman Gabriel. In the fourth round out of last year’s draft the Bengals take Boryla out of Stanford and then trade him to the Eagles for a sixth-rounder in ’75 and a first-rounder in ’76 that turns out to be Oklahoma wide receiver Billy Brooks

Life In The ’Burbs With Bengals Rookie John Ross - Cincinnati Magazine
t’s not exactly hiding, but if one were looking for a fresh-out-of-school, suddenly wealthy professional athlete new to the city of Cincinnati, you wouldn’t expect to find him living in an Amberley Village McMansion with two buddies from high school. It’s a bit like Entourage, The Bizzaro World: three kids from Southern California, one of whom makes it big, hanging in the Cincy suburbs and ordering dinner from Marco’s Pizza. The four-bedroom, five-bathroom, 4,500-square-foot house was Ross’s first—and, thus far, only—major purpose since he signed a four-year, $17.1-million contract, including a $10.6-million signing bonus. “I’m super cheap,” he says, lounging on the massive but practical sectional couch in the main living room. “I even tried to give the house back when I bought it. That’s just how I am.” Much of this attitude is a product of growing up in Compton and Long Beach in a big family that made do with little. “I’m not a materialistic guy,” says Ross, who turned 22 in November. “I have a Mercedes GLE, and I hate it. Nothing against Mercedes or anything. It’s just a gas guzzler.”

AFC North Bytes

Steelers solid favorites over Ravens in 'Sunday Night Football' showdown
he Pittsburgh Steelers are favored by six points ahead of their “Sunday Night Football” game against the visiting Ravens, down slightly from an initial seven-point spread, according to most Las Vegas betting lines. In the AFC, only the New England Patriots (eight games) have a longer winning streak than the Steelers (seven). The Ravens (7-5) have won three straight and are 5-3 since their Oct. 1 loss to Pittsburgh.

Chargers' Casey Hayward ranks Josh Gordon as his toughest matchup along with OBJ; Hue Jackson say he's as physically-gifted as anyone
Josh Gordon instantly climbed into the top two of Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward's toughest matchups, along with Giants' three-time Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr. Hayward told Sirius XM NFL Radio on Tuesday that Gordon was right up there with OBJ, who caught five passes, including a 48-yard touchdown, in the Giants' 27-22 loss to the Chargers Oct. 8. Beckham broke his ankle in that game and underwent season-ending surgery.

Ben Roethlisberger says Pittsburgh Steelers respect Baltimore Ravens more than Cincinnati Bengals
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says there is more of a mutual respect in the Pittsburgh Steelers' rivalry with the Baltimore Ravens than the one they have with the Cincinnati Bengals. Roethlisberger's comments in a conference call with Baltimore reporters came two days after two players were disciplined for illegal hits made during Monday night's game between the Steelers and Bengals.

Random Bytes

Colin Kaepernick Offered Roster Spot on Rapper Jim Jones' Arena League Team
Rapper Jim Jones is recruiting free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick to join his team in the American Arena League. According to TMZ Sports, Jones—a co-owner of the defending Arena Pro Football champion Richmond Roughriders—would be willing to sign the former San Francisco 49ers signal-caller if he was interested.

Eli Manning to Start for Giants vs. Cowboys After Ben McAdoo's Firing
Eli Manning will be reinstated as the New York Giants starting quarterback after head coach Ben McAdoo was fired Monday, interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo announced Wednesday. Jordan Raanan of initially reported the news Monday (via Adam Schefter of ESPN).

Roger Goodell Signs 5-Year Contract Extension to Remain NFL Commissioner
Darren Rovell of ESPN reported the five-year deal could be worth twice as much annually as the first ten years Goodell was commissioner, which he made $212.5 million. Goodell, 58, has been the NFL's commissioner since 2006. He has been involved in the NFL in some capacity since joining as an intern in the league office in 1982.