Saturday's promotion of safety Tony Dye from the practice squad seems to indicate Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is leaning to deactivating nickel back/safety Chris Crocker (hamstring) for Sunday's game (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) against Cleveland at sold-out Paul Brown Stadium. The 5-10, 210-pound Dye figures to make his NFL debut on special teams and serve as the fourth safety behind starters Reggie Nelson and George Iloka, and rookie backup Shawn Williams.
Dye, a free agent last season who signed out of UCLA, played in all four of this season's preseason games and was waived on Aug. 31 before being signed to the practice squad Sept. 24, the same day Crocker re-signed in the wake of the spate of injuries against the Packers. Dye spent his rookie season on injured reserve after suffering an ankle injury early in training camp.
To make room for Dye the Bengals released cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris after he had three special teams tackles in three games.
FINE MESS: According to NFL.com's fine roundup, Bengals left end Carlos Dunlap was fined $15,750 for a horse-collar tackle of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
But maybe more interesting is that WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict didn't get a fine for the unnecessary roughness flag he received for hitting Flacco running up the sideline. Burfict argued that Flacco was still running inbounds and not yet out of bounds and the tape backed him up. With no fine, the NFL may have agreed, too.
DEATH IN FAMILY: On the Friday before their biggest game in a quarter of a century, a Hall of Fame Browns player who coached for the Bengals, died. Mike McCormack, who Browns and Bengals founder Paul Brown called the greatest offensive lineman he ever coached when he presented him in Canton, passed away at 83. Between his stints as a head coach in Philadelphia (1973-75) and in Baltimore (1980-81), McCormack coached the Bengals offensive line from 1976-79 under head coaches Tiger Johnson and Homer Rice.