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Bengals News (1/12): Back in the building

Joe Burrow has returned to Paul Brown Stadium to continue his rehab.

Cincinnati Bengals v Washington Football Team Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Joe Burrow begins rehab with Paul Sparling as the Bengals look ahead to the 2021 season
It was in the grim late November dim of a tomb-silent bus heading to the airport just a few hours after Bengals Heisman Trophy quarterback Joe Burrow's ACL had torn along with such a bright rookie season. Sparling, the Bengals' always unruffled long-time head certified athletic trainer fresh off being named the Outstanding NFL Athletic Trainer of the Year, told Burrow what he's been telling severely-injured players since before Burrow was born 24 years ago.

PFWA Names Jessie Bates III As Bengals' MVP & Giovani Bernard As Team's Good Guy For 2020
The Cincinnati Chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America today named S Jessie Bates III as the Bengals' 2020 Most Valuable Player and HB Giovani Bernard as the recipient of the organization's annual "Good Guy" award.

Photo Gallery | Best Action Images From The Bengals 2020 Season
Go inside the action with some of the best images from the Bengals 2020 season.

The return of Bengals offensive line coach Frank Pollack excites players and coaches in the organization.
It marks the biggest change the play caller has made to his playbook since Taylor arrived two seasons ago. In a move as wide reaching as Pollack's signature wide zone, Taylor displayed a fresh, bold approach to improving the offense when he reached out beyond his staff and turned to a coach that was on the staff he replaced after the 2018 season.

Former Cincinnati Bengals Carson Palmer and David Fulcher Named To 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class
Palmer, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, played seven of his 14 seasons with Cincinnati and twice was selected to the Pro Bowl. With the Bengals, Palmer threw for 22,694 yards and 154 touchdowns.

Joe Mixon lobbies for Bengals to draft Alabama WR DeVonta Smith
Mixon hedged his bet a bit with the social media commentary, saying the Bengals should make the move, but only if the team adds an offensive lineman in free agency:

Cincinnati Bengals Interviewing Former Pro Bowler Andre Carter to be Their Defensive Line Coach
Carter has been an NFL coach for four seasons. He was an assistant defensive line coach in Miami for two years (2017-18), before being named the Jets defensive line coach in 2019. He spent two seasons in New York, but is looking for work since Adam Gase was fired following a two-win season.

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow back at Paul Brown Stadium
Burrow has been in the Los Angeles area since undergoing surgery Dec. 2, staying in California for his initial rehab. But now he’s back in Cincinnati, the Bengals said Monday morning, and he plans to be ready for the 2021 season.

Bengals: Joe Burrow hints he’s ahead of schedule, will start Week 1
Burrow, indicating feedback from doctors has hinted he’s ahead of schedule, said it “looks like it’s about 10 to 12 weeks out from surgery…I’m on track to do what I need to do this offseason to start Week 1,” according to ESPN’s Ben Baby.

Around the league

NFL Divisional Round: Five things to watch in each game
Three of the longest playoff-win droughts were ended during the inaugural Super Wild Card Weekend, with the Browns, Bills and Bucs ending 67 combined years of frustration. They are joined by teams like the Packers, Saints and Chiefs, for whom playoff wins are the starting point in negotiations for so much more.

Jets flying in 49ers DC Robert Saleh for second HC interview
Robert Saleh is one of the finalists for the Jets job and is flying into the New York/New Jersey area for a second interview, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported. Saleh is the first known finalist for the Jets' opening, and is also still a candidate for the Detroit Lions' head coaching vacancy.

Crimson Tide star WR DeVonta Smith shines brightest in Alabama's title win
DeVonta Smith capped his college career, validated his Heisman Trophy, and gave NFL general managers plenty to think about Monday with a stunning performance -- 12 catches, 215 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half -- to lead Alabama's 52-24 win over Ohio State in the College Football Playoff National Championship.