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Bengals news (11/16): Waking up after bye week

The Bengals can’t afford to start slow after their bye week.

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Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Quick Hits: Bengals Jessie Bates III with an honest self-assessment at the halfway point of the 2021 season
In a Zoom session tight end C.J. Uzomah revealed that during a one-hour workout that they concentrated on how to get running back Joe Mixon those elusive one and two yards on those short-yardage plays that bedeviled them in the first half of the season.

Bengals sign Michael J. Thomas to the active roster, Austin Calitro to the practice squad
Signed S Michael J. Thomas from the practice squad to the active roster. Thomas (5-11, 195), an eighth-year player out of Stanford University, originally was a college free agent signee of the San Francisco 49ers in 2012. He joined the Bengals' practice squad on Oct. 5, and previously spent time with San Francisco, Miami, the N.Y. Giants and Houston. He has played in 97 career games, and has 281 tackles, two sacks, three INTs, 15 PDs and three FFs.

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor Weighs in on Jessie Bates' Comments
"That's what makes Jessie such a great player is that he knows he capable of being one of the top safeties to play this game in a long time," Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said. "That's his standard for himself, so when guys like that feel like they're not living up to their standard they're hard on themselves. I didn't hear what his answer was, but that's why you like coaching guys like that, because their mentality is they've always got to get better."

How each AFC North team can win up-for-grabs division: Steelers, Browns, Ravens, Bengals all have a real shot
In the AFC North standings, the Ravens, Steelers, Bengals and Browns have shuffled more than a blackjack dealer. The Bengals -- the division leader three weeks ago -- found themselves in last place entering Week 10. But the Browns' blowout loss in New England moved Cincinnati to third place in the standings. The Steelers, the defending division champion, had a chance to move into first place for the first time this season entering Sunday's game against the Lions. But Pittsburgh was unable to beat the winless Lions, settling for a tie, as the Ravens kept a half-game lead over Pittsburgh entering Week 11.

Bengals eager to find cure for post-bye hangover that has lingered for 5 years
Bye weeks are supposed to be about resting the body and recharging the mind, but they have seemed to have the opposite effect on the Bengals in recent years. The Bengals not only have lost the game after the bye week in five consecutive seasons, and seven of the past nine, but also have been at their absolute worst on many of those Sundays when they were supposed to be rested and refreshed.

5 free agents that could bolster Cincinnati Bengals offense in 2022
The biggest names slated to hit the free-agent market are Riley Reiff, Quinton Spain, and C.J. Uzomah, all starters and all big pieces for this offense. Non-starters potentially leaving after this season are Brandon Allen, Stanley Morgan, Auden Tate, and Mike Thomas.

Bengals have smallest chance at AFC North crown despite Week 10 result
The Baltimore Ravens lost to the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night, the Cleveland Browns got absolutely destroyed by the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers (without Ben Roethlisberger) tied with the winless Detroit Lions (which means 8-8-1 is officially a possibility!).

Bengals NFL Playoff Picture: Cincinnati moves up during BYE week
Three weeks ago, many were convinced that Cincinnati had a legitimate playoff-contending team. Now, after a two-game losing streak and a restful BYE, the Bengals have the most to prove in Week 11 against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Around the league

The First Read, Week 11: Chiefs snap out of it; Tom Brady scuffling
This was the performance the Kansas City Chiefs had been waiting for this season. This was the moment when they could point to all their critics and crow about what this team really is capable of becoming. They aren't complaining today about the fact that it took 10 weeks for it to happen. The only thing that matters is that it did happen, and that this team is in position to keep building on it.

Green Bay Packers selling stock for sixth time in franchise's history
"We're excited to offer shares for just the sixth time in our franchise's history," Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy said in a release. "Since we received permission from the NFL last month for a stock offering, fans have been excited. Their support is a key component of our ability to invest in Lambeau Field and maintain it as a top-tier sporting experience, which in turn contributes to the continued success of the franchise.

How my father prepared me for life and the NFL
My definition of a hero describes my father, Richard Allen II. We went through a lot of challenges when I was young, and he never wavered -- he was always there for my brother, Richard Allen III, and me. My father was and still is my idol and hero.