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Roster Lock Prediction #37: Defensive Tackle Pat Sims

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 12:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is sacked by Pat Sims #90 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the game on December 12 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 12: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is sacked by Pat Sims #90 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the game on December 12 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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Since the team traded Clinton McDonald to the Seattle Seahawks and since the team released defensive tackle Tank Johnson and Lolomana Mikaele, the Cincinnati Bengals are left with three natural tackles in Domata Peko, Geno Atkins and Pat Sims. Jonathan Fanene and Frostee Rucker are likely candidates to take snaps inside, but mostly during pass rushing situations.

We have Atkins and Peko as our only natural defensive tackles in our 2011 roster locks (players we're predicting make the roster), largely because we had no idea how Pat Sims was recovering, still on Active/PUP at the time our list was initially developed.

No longer. Sims has participated in practices since Sunday. Considering Cincinnati has dropped three defensive tackles in a handful of days, there's no way Cincinnati makes a move with Pat Sims; provided said move isn't related to an injury. Not only that but you might as well scratch his name in as the starting defensive tackle, alongside nose tackle Domata Peko.

Sims becomes our 37th player and seventh defensive lineman behind Atkins, Peko, Carlos Dunlap, Michael Johnson, Robert Geathers and Jonathan Fanene (we're not there just yet with Frostee Rucker).