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Bengals Bytes (6/15): Changing the reigns

The Bengals let some long time leaders walk during the offseason leaving Andy Dalton to lead this team. Myles Garrett limps off the field during the Browns’ practice. Leonard Floyd shares his scary story of recovering from his concussion last season.

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Minicamp Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos sign CB Chris Lewis-Harris, waive Taurean Nixon
The Broncos have a new cornerback competing for a spot on the roster. Chris Lewis-Harris, a six-year veteran, spent four full seasons with the Bengals to begin his career before he split the 2016 season between Cincinnati and Baltimore. As a Bengal, Lewis-Harris' defensive backs coach was current Broncos Head Coach Vance Joseph.

Notes: Core looks OK; Mixon on Green: 'Half man, half amazing'
Wide receiver Cody Core, perhaps the Bengals’ most improved player in the spring camps, went down late in Wednesday’s practice with what appeared to be a bruised ankle. The Bengals didn't comment on the injury, but indications late Wednesday afternoon were he'll be ready for training camp. It sure looked a lot worse than that.

So far, so good
If there is one topic that has kept Bengaldom up at night this offseason it has been the prospect of quarterback Andy Dalton protected by the first new pair of book-end tackles in eight years. But with Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander reporting Wednesday “I got eight hours of sleep last night,” maybe it is time to take a long winter’s nap when the Bengals break for summer vacation after Thursday’s final mandatory minicamp practice.

Bengals' second practice ends with injury to wide receiver Cody Core
The Bengals' second practice of mandatory minicamp was interrupted twice Wednesday as weather and injuries halted drills. The Bengals were gathered at Paul Brown Stadium for the second consecutive day, but a rain shower sent them inside temporarily midway through practice. They returned shortly after to conclude the second half of practice, but it ended on a negative note after wide receiver Cody Core was carted off with a leg injury.

Bengals' Cody Core OK after leaving practice on cart, source says
Bengals wide receiver Cody Core should be fine after leaving Wednesday’s practice on a cart with a leg injury, a source said. Although the team declined to specify the nature of the injury, the source said Core was in good spirits after he was taken in for X-rays on his left leg. According to the source, Core will have one more test on Wednesday, but everything looked OK after the initial X-ray.

With other vets moving on, Bengals are Dalton’s team to lead
Andy Dalton got thrown into an uncomfortable role as a rookie in 2011, handed a starting job in a position that calls for leadership. How do you lead a team when you’re not yet sure what to do? “You get in the huddle and there are guys that are 10 years older than you,” Dalton said. “It’s just a different time. Obviously I’m not the same kind of leader now that I was then, but I feel like I did all right that first year.”

Who Dey notes: Bengals' Andy Dalton not used to losing, rookies need playing time
The official start to Bengals football got underway, with the start of minicamp. Though one can look at the whole fiasco as stripped down football in boxers, it still has a purpose. It’s all about getting the questions answered and making sure the mindset is right for the 2017 season. After a laughable 6-9-1 season, being on the same wavelength is a mandatory issue. Heck, maybe Marvin Lewis & Co. should get into the sleep hypnosis procedures.

Chad Johnson guarantees 9-10 touchdowns in flag football game
A new professional flag football league Tweeted that it has a commitment from former Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Johnson to play in its Launch Game in San Jose, California, on June 27, with fellow former NFL star Michael Vick also committed to play.

Continuity boosts Bengals on both sides of ball
In recent years, continuity became as synonymous with the Cincinnati Bengals as striped helmets and playoff appearances. A monotonous orbit of the same people doing the same things filled these annual offseason training sessions concluding this week with minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Continuity stood as one of the primary ingredients in the franchise formula.

AFC North Bytes

Eagles Notebook: Birds spoke to Maclin before he joined Ravens
Doug Pederson said the Eagles’ interest in wide receiver Jeremy Maclin didn’t go beyond the conversation they had Saturday. Of course Pederson previously said he had no interest in the former Philly first-round draft pick who signed a two-year, $11 million contract with the Ravens, including $6 million guaranteed.

Myles Garrett Suffers Apparent Foot Injury in Browns Minicamp
Cleveland Browns rookie Myles Garrett suffered an apparent foot injury at his team's minicamp Wednesday,'s Mary Kay Cabot reported. According to NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala, Garrett walked under his own power on the sidelines after being examined by team doctors.

Browns QBs in positive frame of mind, but not ready to claim the position
Brock Osweiler was upbeat, Cody Kessler said he's far ahead of a year ago and DeShone Kizer feels he has had a lot of growth. Those were the assessments Wednesday from the Cleveland Browns quarterbacks as they discussed their progress in the offseason. While all were pleased, none was ready to say he deserved the job -- for opening day or for the start of training camp.

T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers Agree to Rookie Contract
The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Wednesday they signed T.J. Watt to a four-year contract after the organization used the 30th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft on the Wisconsin product. "T.J. is a rock-solid young man who has a lot of upside," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement on the team's official site. "He doesn't have a lot of experience at the position, but at the same time we saw some things that were exciting to us. His hand usage in particular for a guy with his short resume at the position was exciting. His production speaks for itself."

Random Bytes

DeAndre Hopkins: Tom Savage has “earned” starting quarterback job
It’s one thing for the coaches to praise quarterback Tom Savage. The players have to believe it, too. In Houston, they apparently do. “I like his leadership,” receiver DeAndre Hopkins told reporters on Wednesday. “From last year when he wasn’t playing on the field he was still showing the guys, telling us what we should do, helping us out like he was the starting quarterback. Now that he’s in that role it’s not surprise to anybody on this field that he deserves that role.

Leonard Floyd Says It Took 2 Months to Get 'Mind Back Together' After Concussion
Chicago Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd suffered two concussions during his rookie season, and the last one caused a long recovery process. "It took me two months to really feel like I was back to myself," Floyd said Wednesday, per Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. "I was just at the house, relaxing, getting my mind back together. After those two months I felt back."

Ian Rapoport: Eagles finalized three-year deal with Jason Peters
NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport joins "Up to the Minute" to give an update on Eagles tackle Jason Peters signing a 3-year contract with the team.