The Bengals may be without their top backup defensive lineman when they take on the Seahawks this Sunday.
Wallace Gilberry was unable to get in a full practice this week while dealing with a calf injury. He was able to get in a limited session though on Friday, which was enough for him to be listed as questionable on the final injury report. If Gilberry is declared inactive vs Seattle, we could see the 2015 debut of Margus Hunt in his place.
Hunt, now in his third NFL season, has been inactive in each of the first four games in favor of Gilberry and second-year end Will Clarke. A former second-round pick out of SMU, Hunt has played sparingly for the Bengals as inconsistent play and other quality ends on the roster have kept him relegated to spot duty. Having outside linebacker Chris Carter effectively double as a nickel defensive end has also kept Hunt from being active this season.
It's possible the Bengals could keep Hunt inactive even if Gilberry doesn't play and perhaps we'll see the Bengals go with Carter, Clarke, Michael Johnson, and Carlos Dunlap as the ends. That could be done to make another defensive tackle active to help ensure Cincinnati has enough bodies to slow down Seattle's 7th-ranked ground game. Their 26th-ranked passing game leaves a lot to be desired, and having another big body like Brandon Thompson to stop the run could help slow down the two-headed monster of Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch (if Lynch plays, which the Bengals are expecting he will).
Still, if Gilberry doesn't play, look for Hunt to make his first appearance of the season as he looks to get his NFL career going on the right track. With just 10 combined tackles and 1.5 sacks over 22 career games, Hunt is still fighting to keep his roster spot when guys like Sean Porter and Vontaze Burfict come off PUP. Hunt needs to show he's worth sticking with for the rest of the year and beyond.