Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Brandon Thompson probably won't play this weekend, though there is a glimmer of hope that he'll be active.
Thompson has been out since suffering a knee injury against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 14. It was defined as a "sprained knee". Cincinnati kept him on the roster, despite not having him for a month (which makes me think that the league should update their injury policy... if a player is hurt, why not a one-month DL or something. Players are bigger, stronger and as a result, suffering more injuries in today's game compared to 1930. These guys are smart. They can devise a system that won't be abused or misleading... right? Hello?).
After being limited on Wednesday and then full during Thursday's session, Thompson was limited again on Friday and listed as questionable on the team's injury report.
The Bengals are looking forward to his presence.
"He's a good run-stuffing guy," defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said. "He's a key part of what we do and we can't wait to have him back."
Per ESPN's Coley Harvey:
Since Thompson went down, teams have rushed for an average 172.5 yards per game. In the two games he has appeared in, they collected just 95.5 yards per game. It ought to be pointed out that he only saw six plays of action in the second game, leaving with his injury in the first half.
Yet, Pro Football Focus graded Thompson as one of the team's worst run defenders last year with a grade of -3.6. Margus Hunt (-4.1), Wallace Gilberry (-7.0) and Domata Peko (-13.8) were the only defensive linemen with worse run-stopping scores.
Also desperately needed right now are fresh legs on the defensive line. Peko, Gilberry, Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap are averaging over 50 snaps per game. Dunlap and Michael Johnson were the only defensive linemen that surpassed that milestone last season.
In the end, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is preaching the same thing fans are. This defense is capable of playing better... and they have to. "I think they have to understand that we can play better," Guenther said via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "We know we can play better. That's the frustrating part of it, that we're off here and off there a tick. But we know we can play better. And we should."