Steelers’ Timmons playing hurt

Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons played through pain against the Ravens, breaking his left hand when it collided with the helmet of offensive guard Marshal Yanda during the fourth quarter of a 19-16 victory.

It didn’t hamper Timmons’ play as he recorded a game-high 17 tackles, including a dozen solos, helping to limit Ravens running back Ray Rice to 45 yards on 15 carries. Since reviewing the game, the coaching staff boosted Timmons' total to 20 tackles.

Now, Timmons will line up with a cast on his hand against the Oakland Raiders

“Pain is a part of this game,” Timmons told Pittsburgh reporters. “You know what you sign up for when you play football. I am a linebacker. I love the physicality of it. I am excited to go out there and play with my teammates and just always do what I can do.

“Catching the ball is going to be a little more difficult. I will have to do more one-handed attempts than two. Other than that it is still the same.”

In other Steelers news, cornerback Ike Taylor restructured his contract to reduce his salary-cap figure from $9.546 million to $7.968 million. The remainder of his $6 million base salary was paid out in a $2.97 million signing bonus.

The Steelers now have $1.675 million in available salary-cap space under the NFL limit of $123 million. They were roughly $200,000 over the limit until this transaction.

In 2014, his salary-cap figure is now up to $11.942 million after an original figure of $10.454 million.

First-place Bengals aiming high

If the Bengals defeat the New York Jets on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, they’ll run their record to 4-0 at home for the first time since the 1988 season when they went to the AFC championship.

In order to do so, they'll need to confuse and contain Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith.

“Obviously, it's a huge game for us,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said during a press conference. “The Jets are playing very good football. They're a strong, downhill-running team. They run the power gaps, things like that. You've got to get your pads down and play. It'll be a physical game up front.

“Defensively, they're about as strong as you can be with their front group. We've got a huge game up front, and we need to have both sides of the ball played well, and be efficient with the ball. We've got, a big game against a really good team.”

Smith led the Jets to an overtime win over the New England Patriots last week with one touchdown and one interception.

For the season, Smith has passed for 1,723 yards, eight touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

“Geno's done well,” Lewis said. “They've done a fine job of building their offensive team around him. Schematically, they’re involving the play-action drop backs, the nakeds and the screens. And there’s the involvement of the Wildcat stuff they're doing with other guys, last week with Josh Cribbs, and then to the read option that Geno is running.

"There's a lot of scheme. There's a lot of things. He's doing a good job of managing it. He's played well and efficiently, and they’re winning games.”

awilson@baltsun.com

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