Bengals RB Bernard Scott said he expects to make his 2012 debut vs. the Washington Redskins this week, and head coach Marvin Lewis said everyone but CB Dre Lirkpatrick has the opportunity to be available. That would hopefully signal the return of DE Carlos Dunlap, who is desperately needed with a defensive-end rotation that currently has two able-bodied players, not counting Wallace Gilberry, who just signed with the team yesterday.
Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin has hinted that Troy Polamalu (calf) is unlikely to play this week vs. the Oakland Raiders.
The AFC North has traditionally been known as a division with some of the NFL’s best defenses. All four teams managed to finish in the top 10 in defense last season, but as of now, the Bengals, Ravens, and Browns rank in the bottom-6 NFL defenses.
Despite an 0-2 start to their season, the Browns are tied for second in the NFL with eight sacks, lead by MLB D’Qwell Jackson’s three sacks, all of which came Sunday against the Bengals. Jackson has played outstanding this year, and may be a dark-horse candidate for defensive player of the year.
The Ravens are on the wrong end of sack numbers, as they’ve allowed QB Joe Flacco to be sacked five times in their first two games, while allowing many more QB hurries and hits. The o-line was arguably the teams’ biggest question coming into the season, and they’ve done nothing thus far to suggest they’ll be able to keep Flacoo upright consistently in 2012.