AFC North notebook

Let's take a walk around the AFC North Division as the Steelers, Bengals and Ravens prepare for the homestretch run.


* WR Hines Ward is only the fifth receiver in NFL history to top 10,000 yards with one team, and the only one who remains active with that team.

* WR Santonio Holmes has dropped two TD passes in two close losses, one in a three-point defeat at Chicago and one in a six-point loss to Cincinnati.

* QB Ben Roethlisberger lost for only the sixth time in 29 starts against AFC North teams when the Steelers feel to the Bengals 18-12 Sunday.

* TE Heath Miller needs two more catches to top his career high. He has 47, one fewer than last season.

* RB Rashard Mendenhall has 564 yards rushing in his six games as a starter, but his 36 vs. Cincinnati were the fewest during that time.

* DE Brett Keisel is having his best season. He leads the team with 20 quarterback pressures/hurries, and he has three sacks and three pass knockdowns.

* DE Travis Kirschke likely will miss another game with a torn calf muscle. He has missed the past two after replacing Aaron Smith as the starter on the left side.

* LB James Harrison has nine of the team's 25 sacks, on pace with his record-setting season of 16 in 2008. He also leads the team with four forced fumbles.

* WR Mike Wallace leads all rookies with 453 yards receiving, and his average of 17.4 yards per catch leads the team. His 26 receptions are second among NFL rookies.

* K Jeff Reed has made his past nine field-goal tries after missing three of five over a two-game stretch early in the season. He is 13-for-16.


* RB Ray Rice scored a touchdown for the fifth consecutive game. In the past two weeks, he has accounted for both of the Ravens' offensive touchdowns.

* K Steve Hauschka was cut after missing three of his last seven field-goal attempts. His last two misses were within 40 yards.

* DE/LB Terrell Suggs suffered a right knee sprain and hobbled out of the locker room with his right leg in a brace. He likely will be out for Sunday's game against Indianapolis. Rookie second-round pick Paul Kruger replaced him during the game.

* DE/LB Paul Kruger could make his first NFL start if Terrell Suggs (sprained knee) is sidelined. He has only played in two games this season.

* TE Todd Heap hurt his left side in the first half and continued to play in the second. He held his side as he left the field with a couple minutes remaining in the game. L.J. Smith would start in place of Heap.

* TE L.J. Smith could start for the Ravens if Todd Heap (ribs) is sidelined. Smith has one catch for 26 yards.


* Marvin Lewis' team of castoffs added one more on Tuesday, as Larry Johnson agreed to a one-year contract with the team. The contract is for the veteran's minimum. To make room for Johnson, the team released defensive tackle Orien Harris.

Johnson, who turns 30 on Thursday, had 377 yards on 132 carries for a 2.9-yard average. Since setting an NFL record with 416 carries and a team-record 1,789 yards in 2006, Johnson has been on a steady decline. But he will now be given the chance to see if he still has something left. Lewis did not say if Johnson would be ready for Sunday's game at Oakland, but a lot of that depends on the health of Cedric Benson.

* QB Carson Palmer has only one career start against the Raiders, which happened in 2006. Palmer was 20 of 28 for 297 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in a 27-10 win.

* RB Bernard Scott has moved into the primary kick return role for the rest of the season. He averaged 41.2 yards on five returns Sunday, including a 96-yard touchdown on his first return. Scott is up for the NFL Rookie of the Week award.

* FB Jeremi Johnson will continue to be evaluated for a chest injury suffered two weeks ago.

* WR Chad Ochocinco has 13 catches for 234 yards in two games against Oakland.

* WR Laveranues Coles has 33 receptions for 513 yards and a touchdown in seven career meetings against the Raiders.

* DE Jonathan Fanene has 3.5 sacks since moving into a starting role when Antwan Odom was lost for the season with an Achilles injury.

* CB Leon Hall might be limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday due to an elbow injury.

* DE Michael Johnson continues to see increased snaps in base packages.

* OG Evan Mathis might be able to return to the lineup this week after missing last week's game at Pittsburgh with an ankle injury.

* WR Antonio Chatman (ankle) and TE Ben Utecht (concussion) were both released from injured reserve after completing their rehabilitation. Both players were injured during training camp.

* DB Brannon Condren signed with the Bengals. He had a tryout with the team last month.

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