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Around the AFC North: Joe Burrow Runs and Throws Prior to Bengals Preseason Opener

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow walks on the sideline during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Friday, Aug. 11, 2023, in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow Runs and Throws as Recovery From Calf Injury Continues

The biggest news from the Bengals' preseason opener on Friday occurred before the game, when quarterback Joe Burrow was on the field running and throwing. After a day off on Saturday, Burrow had another throwing session during Sunday's practice and was not wearing a sleeve on his leg.

It was more evident that Burrow is making steady progress recovering from his calf injury. However, Head Coach Zac Taylor did not offer an exact timetable on when the franchise quarterback would return.

"I think things are good, and he's progressing as he should," Taylor said via Geoff Hobson of the team’s website. "Just keep progressing the way that we're doing with the trainers and strength staff."

Bengals players got a lift from seeing Burrow running and throwing, even if wasn't ready to practice. His increased activity reinforces the belief that Burrow will play when the Bengals open the season against two AFC North opponents - at Cleveland in Week 1 and at home against the Ravens in Week 2.

"Always good to see No. 9," safety Michael Thomas said. "He always brings the energy. Anytime he's playing, we've got a shot."

Cleveland Browns: Placekicker Cade York Still Having Issues

Browns second-year placekicker Cade York is 0-for-2 on field goal attempts during the preseason after an inconsistent rookie year (24 of 32 field goals). Members of the Cleveland media are anticipating that the Browns may bring in competition for York if things don't improve soon.

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski remained supportive of York following Friday's 17-15 loss to the Commanders.

"It's a small sample size," Stefanski said via Chris Easterling of the Akron Beacon Journal. "(He's) going to continue to work. Cade's working very hard, just like the rest of our team is. I think it's preseason football for all of us. None of us are ready to play or coach in that first game just yet. So, we're working through it."

Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Pickett and George Pickens Begin Preseason Clicking

Quarterback Kenny Pickett and wide receiver George Pickens played just one series during the Steelers' 27-17 victory over Tampa Bay on Friday, but their short appearance was impressive. Pittsburgh went on an 83-yard drive to open the game, capped by a 33-yard touchdown pass from Pickett to Pickens.

Pickens caught a slant pass from Pickett and did the rest, juking a Tampa Bay defensive back on the way to the end zone.

The Steelers will count heavily on both second-year playmakers this season, and Pickens has already predicted a 1,000-yard season. Head Coach Mike Tomlin decided he wanted to give Pickett and Pickens some action in the preseason opener, but the coach thought one series was enough.

"I thought we saw some things we wanted to see tonight," Tomlin said. "The first unit offense, Kenny spread the ball around. Kept himself clean. Moved the group. We were able to check that box and get them a quality rep in the process."

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