The Bengals will likely be down two defensive linemen on Sunday when they head to Baltimore to face the Ravens.
One for sure won't play after Cincinnati ruled out veteran defensive tackle Pat Sims on Friday. A hip injury sustained during the team's Week 2 win over the Chargers caused him to miss practice this week. This could be the Bengals being cautious though with Brandon Thompson ready to step up.
Why risk injuring Sims further to the point he's out multiple weeks when there's not a big drop-off between he and Thompson? Hopefully, that's the case here and Sims isn't out beyond this week. Through two games, Sims has played in 38 snaps and has a respectable -0.4 Pro Football Focus Grade. He doesn't offer anything as a pass-rusher, but his 0.3 run-defense grade is the second best by a Bengals defensive tackle. The leader is Geno Atkins with a 3.6 rating.
We likely won't be seeing the rookie debut of Marcus Hardison after he was listed as doubtful on the final injury report. The fourth-round defensive lineman out of Arizona State got his first practice in this week since suffering a knee injury in a Week 1 session. Even if had he been fully healthy, Hardison still probably wouldn't be active over Thompson.
To this point, Thompson has been a healthy scratch in Cincinnati's first two games after finishing 2014 with a -4.8 PFF grade. However, his 0.3 run-defense grade was the best of any Bengals defensive tackle, just ahead of Atkins at 0.1.