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Bengals News (11/10): Chris Evans stepping up on special teams

With all the injuries the Bengals are dealing with on special teams, we could see the rookie running back start to fill a bigger role.

NFL: OCT 17 Bengals at Lions Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Quick Hits: Bengals embracing the AFC playoff race heading into the bye week
"We have a bunch of AFC opponents left. Everything we want is right in front of us," said nose tackle D.J. Reader after Taylor sent them off for the bye with a one-hour light workout on the Paul Brown Stadium greensward. "Everybody that's sitting at 5-4 with us, we have to play all of those people. It's an exciting feeling. You know it's on you and you much rather have it that way then sit there and hoping a bunch of teams lose. That's a rough feeling when you have to sit there and hope that's going to happen and this is going to happen, we have everything in front us. That means a lot as a player because you know it's on you. That's the way you want it."

Bengals place Markus Bailey on Reserve/COVID-19 list, claim Clay Johnston from Carolina Panthers
Acquired LB Clay Johnston on waivers from Carolina. Johnston (6-1, 232), a second-year player out of Baylor University, originally was a seventh-round pick of the L.A. Rams. He spent the 2020 offseason with the Rams, before joining the Panthers during the regular season. He has played in eight career games (all with Carolina), and has 10 tackles.

Bengals rookie Chris Evans about to get bigger role on special teams?
In his latest quick hits piece, Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com talked about the Bengals having to re-shape their special teams units with KR Brandon Wilson tearing his ACL and LB Akeem Davis-Gaither injuring his foot. Both are potentially done for the season.

D.J. Reader: Everything Bengals want is right in front of us
The Bengals lost to the Jets in Week Eight and got pasted by the Browns in Week Nine in a pair of results that dropped them from AFC darlings into the deep group of teams fighting for playoff position at the turn to the second half of the season.

Bengals: Players fought for Joe Burrow after Jadeveon Clowney late hit
It’s a little easy to forget because the headlines focus on the Cincinnati Bengals’ humiliating 41-16 loss to the Cleveland Browns — but there was a good example of just how together this team is during that loss.

Grading the Bengals offense: Thoughts on every player in the season's first half
Remember: The grades are based on performance, but also performance against expectation. The curve on a grade for Tee Higgins is much different than the one for Stanley Morgan. A higher grade for Morgan doesn’t mean he’s better than Higgins or played better than Higgins; he merely saw more success relative to expectation before the season started. Also, if a player hasn’t had enough time on the field to make an accurate judgment, the grade will receive an N/A.

One Adjustment the Cincinnati Bengals Could Make in Hopes of Stopping Nick Chubb and the Cleveland Browns
The Bengals shouldn't have been surprised by Cleveland's power rushing attack. While the Browns dabble in wide zone, they are able to run just about everything under the sun with Bill Callahan as the offensive line coach/run game coordinator. Not only are they able to run everything that they want, but last year the Browns adjusted to a power run game at halftime to attack the Cincinnati’s odd front.

Around the league

2021 NFL playoff predictions at midseason mark: Picking 8 division winners and 6 wild card teams
Why Marcas Grant chose the Ravens: The AFC North is filled with flawed teams that can’t get out of their own way. In that case, why not pick the team with the fewest apparent weaknesses?

Jets QB Mike White will start vs. Bills with Joe Flacco as backup QB
White has captivated Jets fans and a significant portion of the greater NFL since he began filling in for rookie Zach Wilson, and it might not end simply because Wilson -- who is "trending in the right direction" but will not be healthy enough to play in Week 10 -- ends up returning from his knee injury. If White continues to ball, Saleh won't have to make the call.

NFL QB Index, Week 10: Tom Brady reclaims No. 1 spot; Matt Ryan enters top 10
This is why I push back against too much MVP talk before Thanksgiving. The rest of the season will decide awards and we're only now hitting the first round of regression for a lot of quarterbacks who got off to unsustainably scorching starts. Anyone making a definitive statement about the race now is looking for attention when there's still nine weeks to go and everyone knows the weeks to come count a little extra when it comes to hardware.