Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange

November 08, 2018 at 1:32 am.


–C Billy Price is expected to return from a foot injury after missing the previous six games. The rookie did not confirm he would return but he has practiced for the last two weeks and gave a vague “on schedule” when asked if he would return.

–LB Vontaze Burfict did not practice Wednesday as he recovers from a hip injury. Burfict did not play two weeks ago in the Tampa Bay game after getting hurt in the second half at Kansas City and may not play this week.

–G Alex Redmond did not practice Wednesday due to a hamstring injury. Redmond has struggled at times in his second season while appearing in each game and could sit out Sunday.

–RB Giovani Bernard was limited in Wednesday’s practice and seems likely to play Sunday. Bernard has missed four straight games with a knee injury which he suffered in Week 4 while starting for RB Joe Mixon.

–CB Darqueze Dennard (shoulder) did not practice Wednesday and spent his time on the rehab field. It appears that he will miss a third straight game after getting hurt in Week 6 against Pittsburgh.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: WR John Ross. Many are waiting on Ross to enjoy a breakout game in a career of stops and starts. Ross could see more passes thrown his way assuming A.J. Green is out and Tyler Boyd gets the coverage normally deployed against Green. Ross sat out the Tampa Bay game with a groin injury but returned to practice this week. In five games this season, the 2017 No. 9 overall pick has seven catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns. “I’m good with where I am. I’m good,” Ross said. “It’s tough to see anybody going down, especially someone who contributes as much as he does. Especially someone who works hard — extremely hard and never complains about anything.”

GAME PLAN: With A.J. Green out, the Bengals are hoping to exploit a pass defense that is 31st in passing yards allowed. If Tyler Boyd and perhaps John Ross can get open enough to be targeted and haul in receptions, that could negate any struggles Cincinnati may encounter against the league’s top rush defense in terms of points allowed.

–Bengals secondary vs. Saints WR Michael Thomas. Whoever plays will be wary of Thomas, who torched the Rams for 211 yards last week. The Bengals rank 32nd with 2,555 passing yards allowed and have allowed an opposing receiver to get 100 yards or more five times.

–Bengals OL vs. Saints DEL. Cincinnati has struggled to run consistently as it ranks 26th in rushing yards. Whether the line can block effectively against a team that has not allowed a 100-yard rusher 16 straight games is a question the Bengals will hope generates some positive answers.