Thursday quick hits: RGIII is XVII; Iloka limited

Browns head coach Hue Jackson tapped quarterback Robert Griffin III to start Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) in Cleveland. RGIII becomes the Browns' 17th different starting quarterback to face a Bengals team coached by Marvin Lewis, one of the reasons Lewis is 19-8 against Cleveland heading into his 28th Battle of Ohio.

Six defensive starters are back from the Sept. 23, 2012 game in Washington when the Bengals beat Griffin in his third NFL start, 38-31. In Bengals rookie linebacker Vontaze Burfict's first NFL start, he had seven tackles and middle linebacker Rey Maualuga added a team-high 13 tackles as the Bengals sacked Griffin five times, led by right end Michael Johnson's career-high three sacks. The other three returning starters are defensive tackles Geno Atkins, who had a sack that day, and Domata Peko, left end Carlos Dunlap, and cornerback Adam Jones.

Johnson puts no stock in it: "That was five years ago. He was a rookie. (The Browns) are a different team than they were when we saw them a fe weeks ago."

Dunlap concurred: "That was a huge game. We got a lot of hits on him. That kind of put an end to him in Washington, kind of, because he was on a roll before then. But he's a new player now, new offense, and he's got Hue Jackson."

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The Bengals are looking at what amounts to their fourth straight game without wide receiver A.J. Green (hamstring). Technically, it's going to be the third straight game he's missed, the longest streak of his career that matches the one he had in 2014. But this time he barely played in the game he got hurt, injuring the hammy on the second snap of the Nov. 20 Buffalo game …

With the temperature feeling like it was 19 degrees in Cincinnati, Green and the rest of the injured crew rehabbed indoors Thursday while the Bengals practiced outside in preparation for what could be a snowy Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) in Cleveland ...

Starting safety George Iloka (groin) appeared to get injured Thursday because he surfaced on the injury report as limited. Already there from Wednesday were left guard Clint Boling (shoulder) and long snapper Clark Harris (groin).

Boling hasn't missed a start yet this season despite the shoulder injury that has kept him limited in several practices. Harris' injury is a tough one for a player that covers punts and he could very well miss his third straight game.

Emergency long snapper Tyler Ott, playing in his second and third NFL games, has been relatively flawless.

"He's been exactly what you expect a young guy to be trying to make it in the NFL," said special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons ...

Also not working Thursday were rotational defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry (calf), backup safety Derron Smith (thigh), and backup tight end C.J. Uzomah (calf) as well as back-up wide receiver James Wright (knee). It's believed starting cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick didn't work because he was sick …

Browns leading wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, a Bengal briefly in the spring of 2015 as a quarterback, says he reached out to Green via Instagram when he made the position switch in Cleveland. He never heard back, which is in the true spirit of the division...

 

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