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Bengals News (11/10): Embracing flexibility to preparation

The Bengals are dealing with their first dip into COVID-19 protocols, and they are using all avenues possible to try and prepare for this week’s game.

Cincinnati Bengals v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Bengals begin to prepare for Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh
In response to last week's two positive Covid tests during the bye week, Taylor merely flipped daily schedules and is bringing them back to work at Paul Brown Stadium with a Tuesday walkthrough while giving them Monday off. That news came amid a report that an unnamed Steeler player has tested positive.

Margus Hunt is fifth Bengals player to land on COVID-19 list
Right tackle Fred Johnson, linebacker Jordan Evans and cornerbacks Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander also were placed on the list since Friday.

AFC North standings: Ravens running out of time after Week 9
The Baltimore Ravens finished up their eighth game of the 2020 season. Though they sit at 6-2, Baltimore still doesn’t have the top spot in the AFC North standings. With just eight more games remaining, the Ravens are running out of chances to claim the crown.

Report: both of Ben Roethlisberger’s knees injured; ‘cautious optimism’ he plays vs. Bengals
Roethlisberger suffered injuries to both knees, NFL Network reported, while he was sandwiched between Dallas Cowboys defenders Neville Gallimore and DeMarcus Lawrence after releasing the ball during a play late in the first half of a 24-19 win.

Cincinnati Bengals reflected on first half of season during bye week
The Bengals announced that two players tested positive for the novel coronavirus during the bye. Subsequently, the Bengals closed their facility on Monday abiding by NFL COVID-19 protocols. The club currently has five players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Sunday’s game versus the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers is still scheduled as planned.

Three more Bengals players placed on Reserve/COVID-19 list
Offensive Lineman Fred Johnson and cornerback Trae Waynes were identified as testing positive on Friday, per the NFL's official transaction log. Linebacker Jordan Evans and cornerback Mackensie Alexander were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday and defensive lineman Margus Hunt joined them on Monday.

Atlanta Falcons Waived Former First-Round Pick Takk McKinley
He appeared in 49 regular season contests for the Falcons, making 25 starts. He has 79 career tackles (22 for loss) 17.5 sacks and 45 quarterback hits. McKinley was reportedly on the trade block, but the Falcons didn't deal him at the deadline. He publicly criticized the organization on social media and admitted that he requested a trade. Atlanta did not pick up McKinley's fifth-year option prior to the season, which means he was going to be a free agent after the season.

Bengals and Steelers in intensive protocol ahead of Week 10 showdown
The Bengals quietly shifted two players to the Reserve/COVID-19 list while on their bye last week. And now Monday, the Steelers announced one player had tested positive, putting their team in intensive protocol, too.

Steelers player tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of Bengals matchup
Team spokesman Burt Lauten says the club was notified of the positive test on Monday morning, hours after the Steelers improved to 8-0 with a 24-19 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Lauten says the player immediately self-quarantined and the Steelers remain in the NFL’s intensive protocol.

Around the league

What we learned from Patriots' 30-27 win over Jets
There was magic in Joe Flacco's arm and victory in the New York Jets' sight. Alas, a winless campaign and a losing streak against the New England Patriots would not end on this Monday night for the Jets. Cam Newton drove the Patriots down and Nick Folk made good on a game-winning kick to keep the Patriots afloat and maintain the Jets' arduous season as New England won, 30-27.

2021 NFL Draft order: Cowboys in top five at midseason
This is a look at the first-round order for the 2021 NFL Draft heading into Week 10 of the NFL season, along with the top three needs for each team. The order is determined by record, using strength of schedule as the first tiebreaker (click here to see a full list of the draft-order tiebreakers). Keep in mind -- teams 19-32 would make the playoffs if the season ended today and are marked as PL (short for playoffs) in the order below. The draft order for playoff teams is determined by the results of postseason play.

Debrief: Top NFL storylines to track in second half of 2020
The Bucs' no-show was a jolting preview of the second half of this season, when the games take on increasing weight each week. If there's a theme to the 2020 campaign thus far beyond high scoring and COVID-19 complications, it's the predictability of it all. Most of the best teams are familiar and were favorites coming into the season. New would-be kings, like the Bucs, Cardinals and Dolphins, are just beginning to test their mettle with meaningful games.

Falcons waive former first-round DE Takkarist McKinley
McKinley was in the midst of a contract year in a situation that had become clear would not end with him and the Falcons renewing their partnership beyond 2020. The 26th-overall pick of the 2017 draft recorded 17.5 sacks in his three-plus seasons with the Falcons, never quite living up to his first-round status. He'd recorded eight tackles and one sack in four games in 2020 before injury pushed him to the sideline.