The Bengals have a ton of depth at line backer heading into the 2015 season and it is no secret that injury concerns and performance by starters last season, are the main reasons why. Vontaze Burfict will eventually find his way back into the starting role, once he is cleared. Vincent Rey had 121 tackles in all 16 games last season but not one line backer had recorded a sack.
The Bengals brought in A.J. Hawk after he was released by the Packers. The former Ohio State Buckeye and Ohio native returns home and has something to prove. He is almost certain going to continue his career in Cincinnati and be a leader in the locker room. The other players going to be locked on the 53-man roster are, Vontaze Burfict (Although may start on PUP list), Vincent Rey, Emmanuel Lamur, and Rey Maualuga.
That leaves second year Marquise Flowers, Nico Johnson, Jayson DiManche, Sean Porter, and Chris Carter for the final two, possibly three, spots. Flowers and DiManche have offered the Bengals many positives but an injury to DiManche set him on IR and Porter is set to start the season on the PUP list, just like Burfict.
It is uncertain if they would only carry 7 or 8 on the roster, but that is a lot of spots filled for only 53 possible slots. Look for the Bengals to put one or both of Burfict and Porter to be put on IR with designation to return, to open up spots on the roster, if they are not able to return immediately at the beginning of the season.
Prediction: Vontaze Burfict (IR Designated to Return), Vincent Rey, Emmanuel Lamur, Rey Maualuga, A.J. Hawk, Sean Porter, Jayson Dimanche, Nico Johnson (Cut once Burfict returns),Chris Carter (Practice Squad)
Next: Tackling the Defense