In light of Thomas Howard’s season-ending injury, some interesting news came out as rookie middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been telling some media members that he’ll start in place of the injured Howard. The former All-American out of Arizona State went undrafted this past April, and the Bengals immediately signed him, and have nothing but praise for him ever since. He looked great in the preseason, and played a significant number of snaps at the middle linebacker spot after Rey Maualuga was injured, but he rarely saw snaps at either outside linebacker spot.
However, Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that it will be a platoon of players manning the WLB spot:
OK, let me try this again — WLB will be a mixture of Burfict, Skuta and Vinny Rey. Depends on down and situation
— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) September 14, 2012
Its hard to imagine a rookie getting a ton of snaps in his first start, if Taze does in fact start. I expect to seem him in on most running downs, with Skuta handling passing downs, and Rey getting in on occasional passing downs. Whatever we see Sunday, in Zimmer we trust.