The Cincinnati Bengals will face a few teams dealing with suspensions, including their own Vontaze Burfict, but which one will affect their game most?
The Bengals have to deal with Vontaze Burfict being out the first three games, but luckily the Bengals aren’t the only ones missing a key piece of their team. A few teams the Bengals will face will also be down a few key members. The only question is which suspension could mean the most for the Bengals.
The Jets, Sheldon Richardson, will miss the first four games of the season, which includes their Week 1 matchup against the Bengals. Richardson had five sacks in 2015, two forced fumbles, and 35 combined tackles. The Bengals will be glad that he’s out because it hurts their depth and defensive line rotation.
The Dallas Cowboys, Rolando McClain, will miss ten games this season, including their Week 5 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. In 2015, McClain recorded two sacks, 80 combined tackles, an interception, and eight pass deflections. He is a vital part of the Cowboys defense against the run and offenses with strong tight ends. Tyler Eifert will be glad to have him on the sideline.
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Burfict will miss the Bengals first three games against the Jets, Steelers, and Broncos. Although the Pittsburgh battle will probably be the game the Bengals miss Burfict’s fire, they went 6-0 last season without him. However, the Bengals are better off with him in the lineup. He had 76 tackles, two interceptions, six tackles for a loss, and a sack in 2015.
The Bengals are a deep team at most positions, including linebacker, and they will not be without a solid backup. Richardson and McClain are two emotional leaders for their team and have made huge contributions.
The Jets and Cowboys are not as deep, although the Jets re-signing of Muhammad Wilkerson will help lessen the blow. The Cowboys have added weapons, but will be affected the most by McClain’s absence, without much depth. The time is quickly approching. Will the Bengals be able to repeat their success without Burfict?