OFFENSIVE LINE SWITCHUP: Right guard Bobbie Williams is out for the season with a broken right ankle. Right tackle Andre Smith didn’t practice on Friday and was seen with a boot on his foot. Neither of which are indicators that Smith will start and play on Sunday. That means that the Bengals may be dealing with an entirely new right side of the offensive line when they play the Rams on Sunday.
Also, Joe Reedy of the Enquirer has reported that Mike McGlynn, and not Clint Boling or Otis Hudson, will replace Bobbie Williams at Right Guard this Sunday, and possibly for the rest of the year. McGlynn is a versatile, veteran lineman that has played center, right guard, and right tackle. However, whether the Bengals offensive balance will shift as a result of the new linemen is unknown. The Bengals have done very well in pass protection this year, allowing 21 sacks on the year, which is third-fewest in the league. However, they’ve been much more inconsistent in run blocking, ranked 18th in run-blocking on the year.
Hopefully, the big men up front can take advantage of the opportunity in front of them this Sunday; the Rams have statistically the worst run defense in the NFL, allowing 156.8 rushing yards/game. In addition, RB Cedric Benson needs just 8 yards to be the fifth Bengal with 4,000 rushing yards in his career.
PASS RUSH SHOULD FEAST: The Rams have the worst pass-blocking in the NFL, allowing a league high 46 sacks. The Bengals have one of the best pass-rushing offenses in the NFL, tied for 6th with 36 sacks posted.
On top of that, prized defensive end Carlos Dunlap returns after missing essentially 4 games with a hamstring injury. Dunlap has practiced all week and is probable to play this Sunday. Dunlap is excited about his chances to play this week:
"“Felt like it’s been forever. Today was pretty close to full go. I’m optimistic about this being the week. This is, leading up to the game, the best week that I have had dealing with it.”"
DONTAY MOCH RETURNS TO PRACTICE: 2011 Third-round pick has had a mysterious season of injuries and illnesses. He finally returned to practice today, after missing the past month or so with a mystery ‘illness’ later revealed to be a migraine issure. He has been inactive for every game this season. After terrorizing opposing pass-blockers in training camp, he missed the rest of the preseason and the first 4 regular season games with a foot injury. He returned to practice in October, but never played in a game. He missed all November and December practices with his migraine issue. Hopefully, this rookie can get on the field in some way before the season ends.