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Bengals Bytes (12/8): Getting over the Pittsburgh hangover

The Bengals will look to overcome their Pittsburgh hangover with a game against the Bears. Josh Shaw says it is “laughable” that Chris Boswell claims he tried to injure the kicker.

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

NFL Week 14: Banged-up Bengals set to host Bears
The Cincinnati Bengals may have to have an open tryout at Paul Brown Stadium pretty soon. Going into this Sunday’s clash with the last-place Bears, the Bengals (5-7) are still feeling the effects of Monday’s hard-hitting loss to Pittsburgh. There were 10 players who did not participate in Thursday’s practice, including eight starters.

Bengals try to get over Steelers hangover as Bears visit
Three cornerbacks injured, a linebacker and a running back in concussion protocol. The Bengals paid a price for their acrimonious, season-dooming loss to the Steelers on Monday night at Paul Brown Stadium. What's left of their roster and their playoff hopes will be on the line Sunday against a Bears team that long ago was ready for hibernation. There will be a lot of empty seats as two teams go at it, looking for one day's respite.

Chris Boswell, Steelers' kicker, says Bengals' Shaw tried to hurt him
Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell accused the Cincinnati Bengals' Josh Shaw of attempting to injure him before he booted the game-winning 43-yard field goal in the Bengals' 23-20 loss on Monday night. When Pittsburgh lined up for the field goal, Shaw jumped offside. Boswell's foot hit Shaw as he followed through on his kick.

Tim Krumrie suffers from brain trauma but he won't accept its fate
The tan leather of the steering wheel of his Ford F-250 slides through Tim Krumrie’s thick hands. He jokes he’ll break yours if he wants. He wheels the truck down his favorite back way, the less trafficked Howelsen Parkway along the Yampa River to the base of sun-splashed Emerald Mountain. Here, on the eastern side of the Rockies, are hiking and biking trails, a ski slope and the home of a pro rodeo series.

TDBH: ‘Crummy’ Bengals pin 50 on Cowboys in Bulletin Board Bowl
In today’s Bulletin Board Bowl at Riverfront Stadium the aggrieved Bengals make the proud Cowboys swallow their words in a stunning 50-24 dismantling that turns Dallas head coach Tom Landry’s first trip to Cincinnati into an embarrassing dead end. No one had ever put up 570 yards on the Cowboys in their 26 seasons until the Bengals microwave Dallas to death today with second-year head coach Sam Wyche’s burgeoning no huddle offense that yields a club-record 274 yards rushing and 265 yards and three touchdowns passing from quarterback Boomer Esiason for their third highest point total in history.

Fantasy Forecast: Week 14
Week 14 marks the start of the fantasy playoffs for most leagues, so your start/sit decisions now are more important than ever. There are no more dart throws allowed; you can only play the people you are confident in. And, the waiver wire is likely a baron wasteland of forgotten and unwanted toys, so make sure you know the term “caveat emptor” well as you browse through the players.

Top 50 Moments: Leah Still Captures the Hearts of Bengals Fans
The range of emotions cascade through Paul Brown Stadium tonight like no Bengals’ home game in history. On Nov. 6, 2014, the roaring crowd of 65,871 salutes the child queen of Bengaldom in an unforgettable ceremony at the end of the first quarter. Leah Still, four-year-old daughter of Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still, has been battling a Stage 4 cancer diagnosis since the spring and the courage of the inspiring father-daughter team has captured the country. Devon Still has kept playing, in large part, to help shine a light on childhood cancer, and Leah Still has simply kept living with a contagious smile and huge heart. The Bengals present a check to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for $1.3 million after selling Still’s No. 75 jersey for $100 each at the Bengals Pro Shop.

Quick hits: Iloka's unlikely ally; Ross hid injury trying to play; Geno looks OK
Safety Mike Mitchell, the Steelers’ arch-villain after shots on Bengals stars A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert, works out with Iloka in the offseason. So the two are already friendly and talk often. Especially after the league overturned Iloka’s suspension Wednesday, the same day Mitchell took up for Iloka publicly and warned the league where such suspensions might kill the NFL.

Michael Johnson Nominated for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award
DE Michael Johnson is the Bengals’ nominee for the 2017 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The ninth-year pro from Georgia Tech is among 32 team winners in contention for the league WPMOY Award, the only NFL award recognizing a player’s off-field community service and playing excellence combined. Three of the 32 nominees will be selected as finalists, and the winner will be announced in Minneapolis at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 3, the night before Super Bowl LII, from 8-10 p.m. on NBC.

Ryan Shazier, Vontaze Burfict and the alluring violence of football
Monday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals was one of the more jarring football games to watch this season. It started with a terrifying moment for Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier. He injured his spine on a play that looked routine. He covered his face with his hands as he was being strapped to a stretcher and carried off the field. He seemed not to be able to move his legs, and we all feared that he would never move them again.

Cincinnati Bengals WR John Ross admits to concealing shoulder injury, coach says
Bengals wide receiver John Ross had been concealing an injury to his left shoulder and finally "came clean" Wednesday, coach Marvin Lewis told SiriusXM NFL Radio host Ross Tucker during an interview. Ross was placed on injured reserve Wednesday just hours after Lewis said the rarely used rookie could get a chance to play this weekend.

AFC North Bytes

Marty Mornhinweg Says Joe Flacco's Recent Improvement Is Tied to His Health
The biggest story during Ravens training camp was Joe Flacco’s back. But that was back, no pun intended, in August. After sitting out the entire preseason, Flacco suited up for the Ravens’ Week 1 game in Cincinnati and hasn’t missed a start – and hardly a snap – all season. But that doesn’t mean his back was 100 percent that whole time.

Ryan Shazier Undergoes Spinal Surgery; Reportedly May Not Play Football Again
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery Wednesday night at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Steelers director of communications Burt Lauten‏ provided the update on Shazier, who was forced to leave Monday night's road game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium due to a spinal injury

Browns Fire Sashi Brown: Jimmy Haslam Wanted More from the GM
We’re here today—with Brown out in Cleveland—because he hired them together. The Browns are starting over again, for the fourth time in Haslam’s five years as owner, thanks to an inability to see the one thing that takes down more teams than anything else on a consistent basis. Cleveland’s football operation wasn’t aligned, the same reason it went sideways under the last two regimes, and this time, Haslam should’ve been able to see it coming all the way from Knoxville.

Random Bytes

The One Mistake NFL Teams Keep Making Again and Again and Again
The Giants will soon begin their head coaching search. Many other teams will follow in a few weeks. All of them will be looking for an innovator, a motivator, an up-and-coming Bill-Belichick-meets-Alexander-the-Great whose ideas will lead both his team and the NFL in a bold new tactical direction. Someone like…

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees blasts Thursday night games, cites numerous injuries
Drew Brees joined the loud chorus of NFL players railing against playing Thursday night games after his New Orleans Saints lost six players to injuries during a 20-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. "It's 100 percent a product of playing on Thursday night," Brees said. "Do you understand what guys' bodies go through in a game? And then to have to turn around four days later and to play? Look at the injury studies, they're off the charts. They're off the charts. So is this smart as it pertains to guys' health and safety? No, absolutely not."

Falcons Outlast Drew Brees, Saints Despite Matt Ryan's Ugly Performance
The Atlanta Falcons (8-5) intensified their pursuit of the NFC South crown with a 20-17 home win over the New Orleans Saints (9-4) on Thursday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium after Deion Jones intercepted Drew Brees in the end zone with 1:25 remaining in regulation.