Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange

November 15, 2018 at 12:24 am.


–WR A.J. Green is expected to miss his second straight game with a toe injury. Green said before practice he is feeling better but did not go on the rehab or practice fields Wednesday. Head coach Marvin Lewis said he is hopeful Green can play Sunday.

–LB Vontaze Burfict (hip) was on the practice field for the first time since getting injured in the 45-10 loss at Kansas City on Oct. 21. He took part in the first defensive drill conducted by new defensive coordinator (and head coach) Marvin Lewis that saw players tackle from all positions.

–LB Preston Brown (knee) did not participate in practice on Wednesday. Brown said he injured the knee during the 37-34 win over Tampa Bay two weeks ago.

–CB Darqueze Dennard (neck) returned to the practice field Wednesday for the first time since suffering a dislocation on the top of his sternum on Oct. 14. It is possible Dennard might return Sunday.

–RG Alex Richmond (hamstring) returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday after sitting out last week’s loss. Richmond might return Sunday.

–CB Dre Kirkpatrick sat out practice Wednesday with a concussion. He exited with a concussion at some point in the New Orleans loss.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: RB Joe Mixon. It’s hard to gauge how well anybody could have played in a 51-14 loss but the numbers indicate Mixon played well as he is averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Of course, Mixon also had his fewest snaps of the season since the Bengals only ran 43 plays against the league’s top rush defense. This week, Mixon is going against the league’s 10th-best rush defense in yards allowed. Mixon needs just 56 yards to top the 626 he posted last year and if the Bengals can avoid falling behind early it seems plausible he would get it this week.

GAME PLAN: In Week 2 as the Bengals raced out to leads of 21-0 and 28-7, they were able to run the ball somewhat effectively, finishing with 108 yards. It is their third-highest total to date and in an ideal world the Bengals would like to do similar things against the Ravens. However, don’t be surprised if the Bengals throw the ball 40 times as they did in the first meeting when QB Andy Dalton was 24-for-42. Regardless of how many times Dalton throws, the Bengals are hoping to get a productive day from WR Tyler Boyd, especially with A.J. Green expected to sit again.

–Bengals DL vs. Ravens T Ronnie Stanley. The Bengals generated little pressure against the Saints last week and this week they will go up against one of the best tackles in the league. Stanley is a top-10 tackle according to Pro Football Focus, which says he has allowed 12 pressures along with one sack and two quarterback hits. During this three-game stretch of getting torched for 500 yards, the Bengals have four sacks.

–Bengals OL vs. Ravens OLB Za’Darius Smith. The Bengals have allowed 20 sacks but could be in for their biggest challenge to date in trying to contain Smith. Smith leads the Ravens with 33 pressures and is tied for the team lead with six sacks.