Ray Lewis May Have Taken Banned Substance and More AFC North News

Andrea HangstFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 29, 2013

A Sports Illustrated report by David Epstein and George Dohrmann on S.W.A.T.S, a sports science company that sells alternative treatments to athletes, links the company to Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

Most disturbingly, however, is that he is alleged to have taken a deer antler extract containing IGF-1, which is a banned substance in the NFL. There are apparently recorded phone conversations between Lewis and S.W.A.T.S. owner Mitch Ross that confirm that Lewis took the extract as a way to speed up his recovery from his torn triceps in order to return to the Ravens in time for the playoffs.


Baltimore Ravens

Even without this latest controversy, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was going to be a prominent Super Bowl storyline. One of the less innocuous but still interesting ones comes from the Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson, who reports on Lewis' first sack in the NFL—on current San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh when he was the quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is in for a good payday after the Super Bowl, but Bleacher Report's Jesse Reed says Flacco is crazy if he thinks he should be owed Peyton Manning-like money.


Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that longtime Cincinnati Bengals running backs coach Jim Anderson is retiring. He has spent 29 years with the team.

Kyle Battle of Bleacher Report discusses whether the Bengals should look to the draft or to free agency to provide them with a backup quarterback.


Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports on the Cleveland Browns' formal announcement of Ray Horton as their new defensive coordinator, and the big takeaway is that both Horton and head coach Rob Chudzinski thinks that many of the defensive players currently on the roster should be able to transition well to the new system, which will be heavy on the 3-4 alignment.

Andy McNamara of Bleacher Report gives his full Browns seven-round mock draft now that the Senior Bowl is in the books.


Pittsburgh Steelers

In a piece on the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Gerry Dulac says that Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton won't be back with the team in 2013.

Pete Martin of Bleacher Report presents eight impending free agents the Steelers need to stay away from this offseason.