Morning take: Maualuga to start

Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker

Here are the most interesting stories Tuesday in the AFC North:

  • After a stellar preseason and training camp, Cincinnati Bengals rookie linebacker Rey Maualuga was promoted to starter for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.

Morning take: Maualuga’s aggressiveness stood out from the first day of training camp. His hard-hitting nature is a great fit for the AFC North.

  • With Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons’ status in question Thursday against the Tennessee Titans, backup Keyaron Fox says he’s ready to step in.

Morning take: The Steelers could really use Timmons’ athleticism. But Fox should be fine as long as he plays his role in the system.

  • Cleveland Browns receiver and return specialist Joshua Cribbs says he’s optimistic he will play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

Morning take: But Cribbs didn’t guarantee he would play without a new contract. Would Cribbs really back out at the 11th hour if a deal isn't reached?

Morning take: This is one of the biggest Week 1 mismatches on paper. Quarterback Matt Cassel returned to practice this week and would at least give Kansas City a fighting chance.