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Around the AFC North: Browns Trade for LB Deion Jones

Atlanta Falcons inside linebacker Deion Jones (45) works during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Atlanta.
Atlanta Falcons inside linebacker Deion Jones (45) works during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Atlanta.

Cleveland Browns: Former Pro Bowl Linebacker Deion Jones Has Been Traded to Cleveland

The Browns (2-3) have lost two straight and have struggled to stop the run, giving up more than 200 yards rushing in their past two games.

Shortly after their Week 5 loss to the Chargers, the Browns made a trade to help address their issues. Cleveland has acquired veteran inside linebacker Deion Jones from the Atlanta Falcons, and the teams will also swap late-round draft picks in 2024. The Browns officially announced the deal on Monday.

Jones made the Pro Bowl in 2017 and registered more than 100 tackles in five of his six seasons with Atlanta. He began this season on injured reserve after offseason shoulder surgery and did not play in the Falcons' first give games.

Cleveland ranks 28th in the NFL in rushing defense, surrendering 138.2 yards per game, including 238 yards rushing in Sunday's 30-28 loss to the Chargers. The Browns have missed inside linebacker Anthony Walker, who suffered a season-ending quad tear in Week 2. Pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney was asked about the state of Cleveland's defense following the game.

"Right now, it's not good," Clowney said via Dan Labbe of "I expect a lot out of this defense and right now we ain't showing up and doing it."

Cincinnati Bengals: Wide Receiver Tee Higgins Hopes to Play Through Ankle Injury

Wide receiver Tee Higgins is dealing with an ankle injury that he reaggravated during Sunday night's 19-17 loss to the Ravens. Higgins suffered the injury Week 4 against the Dolphins and sat out the second half against Baltimore.

Higgins hopes to play Week 6 when Cincinnati (2-3) visits New Orleans.

"I don't want to rush anything and force myself out there and get hurt worse and be out for the season," Higgins said via Chris Roling of YahooSports. "We just played it safe, and I'll be back for the rest of the games. Nothing major."

The Bengals hope Higgins can play through the injury and be effective. He had no catches against Baltimore after entering the game with 20 catches for 315 yards and two touchdowns, coming off his 1,019-yard season in 2021.

"Tee is one of the premiere receivers in the league," quarterback Joe Burrow said after the game. "Whenever you lose a guy like that it's going to be tough."

Pittsburgh Steelers: Offense Doesn't Score a Touchdown in Kenny Pickett's First Start

Changing starting quarterbacks didn't have the impact the Steelers (1-4) hoped for.

Pittsburgh lost its fourth straight game, drubbed 38-3 by the Buffalo Bills. Pickett made his first start at quarterback but the Steelers never reached the end zone as he finished 34-of-52 for 327 yards with an interception and three sacks.

"Just point blank, we didn't put points up, so that's the No. 1 thing," Pickett said in his postgame press conference via "We've got to be a lot better in the red zone. I felt like we moved the ball, but we just couldn't finish. So, it's something that we have to get fixed definitely quickly and get back to the drawing board here on Monday."

Former Steelers safety Ryan Clark said the Steelers "gave up" against the Bills.

It's going to take more than replacing Mitch Tribusky with Pickett to jump start the Steelers' offense. They rank No. 28 in yards and No. 30 in points scored heading into Week 6 when they host the Buccaneers.

"I think we have to kind of look in the mirror at ourselves as players and figure out what we have to do better,3 Pickett said. "There's a lot of fingers to be pointed, but when you look at yourself, I think we will improve a lot faster that way. So, it starts with myself, and I want to look at what I can improve on and get ready to go next week."

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