Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap has missed four of the team's previous seven games with a hamstring that he injured against the Tennessee Titans in week nine. He re-injured his hamstring in a brief return against the Baltimore Ravens, forced to sit out until week 15 against the St. Louis Rams. Dunlap contributed with a quarterback sack the following week against the Arizona Cardinals. When he missed practice on Thursday, there was an instant fear from the most pessimistic corners that Dunlap may have re-injured his hamstring.
Though the press gallantly tried prying the truth from the team regarding his injury, they were quickly shutdown.
Generally speaking the hope was that Dunlap was just resting his hamstring in anticipation for Sunday's showdown against the Baltimore Ravens. Geoff Hobson believes the same:
Dunlap sat out Thursday’s practice with the hamstring issue that has dogged him since he capped off the Nov. 6 Tennessee win with A sack. But indications are he’s resting it for Sunday after he looked better than he had in a while with a sack and three pressures last Saturday.
Dunlap has only generated four quarterback sacks this season, compared to 9.5 last year -- and this weekend will give him his 12th game of the season, the same amount he played last year. That being said Dunlap has nearly tripled his quarterback pressures from last year and delivered four times as many hits on the quarterback that hasn't resulted in a quarterback sack.