We've been hearing the following whispers from around the AFC North:
• Bengals second-year RB Bernard Scott, who flashed promise as a rookie, had only 17 carries in Cincinnati's first five games. He's likely to get more work now that Brian Leonard is out with a thigh injury, meaning Scott will become the third-down back for now. Although Scott is a good change-of-pace option for starting RB Cedric Benson, his number of touches would have continued to be very limited had Leonard stayed healthy, we're told.
• The Ravens are pleased with the play of rookie TE Ed Dickson, the way we hear it. Dickson, whose 58-yard catch on a deep throw from QB Joe Flacco in Week Five is the Ravens' longest play from scrimmage this season, looks like he'll be the top target at the position down the road. For now, of course, that distinction continues to belong to veteran Todd Heap.
• Asked leading up to the Week Seven game if the club would promote DL Steve McLendon from the practice squad with DE Brett Keisel injured, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin shed some light on the decision-making process regarding how many D-linemen the club might carry early in the season as opposed to later in the season: "Early on in the year you are concerned because of the lack of snaps people have played; you worry about conditioning. We are five games into this thing now where guys are used to playing a number of snaps and they are in in-season NFL condition. Six guys is probably more of a requirement in early September than in late October, but again that is a potential option for us, one that we will look at later in the week."