Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker
Here are the most interesting stories Friday in the AFC North:
Pittsburgh Steelers tailback Rashard Mendenhall missed Thursday’s practice with an illness, leaving his status up in the air for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.
Morning take: Willie Parker (toe) is healthy again and appears to be ready to take a bulk of the carries if Mendenhall can’t go. We will know more about Mendenhall's status when the injury report comes out Friday evening.
Speaking of the Browns, return specialist Joshua Cribbs reportedly wants a trade if he cannot get a new deal.
Morning take: Barring a tremendous offer, the Browns don't seem interested in moving Cribbs by next week’s trade deadline. He’s too valuable and too much of a bargain.
Cincinnati Bengals tailback Cedric Benson is an early comeback player of the year candidate.
Morning take: He’s leading the league in rushing when recently nobody wanted him. Benson’s candidacy looks pretty strong.
Minnesota Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson will be a huge test for the defense of the Baltimore Ravens.
Morning take: Baltimore has faced the league’s top two rushers in a seven-day span with Benson and Peterson. Will the Ravens develop a new streak of keeping rushers under 100 yards?