The Bengals had a painful showing on Thursday Night Football, and it was even more painful for defensive tackle Geno Atkins. With Cincinnati trailing 24-3 and on defense, Atkins left the game with a knee injury on the same knee that he tore the ACL in on Thursday Night Football vs. the Dolphins one year ago.
With him out, Brandon Thompson and Devon Still got more snaps in his absence, which was also the case much of last year when the All-Pro was lost for the year. While he clearly isn't all the way back to his All-Pro self, he's slowly working his way back, and even in this game, there were flashes of greatness.
In the first quarter, Atkins fired into the backfield to sack Browns QB Brian Hoyer just as he was handing the ball off on a run play. That was one of the few bright spots in what's been an ugly showing for the Bengals on primetime.
Say what you want about cincinnati when the bright lights are on them, but as long as Atkins is on the field, he always is giving it his all.