Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange

November 22, 2018 at 1:34 am.


–WR A.J. Green did not practice Wednesday but head coach Marvin Lewis said Green is expected to practice later this week. Lewis seemed to think Green would be able to play after missing the last two games with a toe injury.

–MLB Preston Brown will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury after being placed on injured reserve. Brown injured his knee in the New Orleans loss. Brown never missed a game in five seasons with Buffalo but injured his ankle in the season opener and finished his first season in Cincinnati with 42 tackles.

–T Cordy Glenn missed practice on Wednesday with a back injury.

–CB Dre Kirkpatrick missed practice on Wednesday with a shoulder injury.

–LB Nick Vigil missed practice on Wednesday with a knee injury.

–S Shawn Williams was limited at practice Wednesday due to a hamstring injury.

Player spotlight: LB Hardy Nickerson Jr. is likely going to start in place of Preston Brown, who was lost for the season with a knee injury. Nickerson played every defensive snap against Baltimore but also was among those who struggled the most against the run.

GAME PLAN: Last week, the Bengals began the game in a two-back set with running backs Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard on the field at the same time when the game began. It was a by-product of wide receiver A.J. Green’s absence and even if Green plays it might be used again by offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, who used several running plays on second downs. “If you feel really good about the two running backs, well then do you always want to have one standing on the sideline?” Lazor said. “So that’s what we started the first play of the game with both of them in there.” The numbers didn’t bear it out as being a success since the duo combined for 58 yards receiving and 19 rushing yards. Mixon was on the field for 34 snaps while Bernard was there for 24 snaps. This week, the Bengals are opposing a team among the worst at stopping the run.

–Bengals LT Cordy Glenn vs. Browns DRE Myles Garrett. While an upgrade over last season, it has been a rough go of it for Glenn in recent weeks. Glenn allowed nine pressures in the losses to New Orleans and Baltimore. Overall, he has allowed 31 pressures, second-most on the team behind Alex Richmond’s 33.

–Bengals DT Geno Atkins vs. Browns G Kevin Zeitler. The quarterback hits are not occurring as often as they did earlier in the season for Atkins. Atkins registered 12 QB hits in the first five games but only has two since. This week he will be going up against a familiar face in Zeitler, who appeared in 72 games in five seasons for the Bengals before signing with Cleveland in 2017. Zeitler is among the more highly rated guards according to Pro Football Focus, which says he leads all guards with a pass-blocking grade of 91. Zeitler also has allowed eight pressures in 458 pass plays and overall he is the 11th-highest graded guard in the league.