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3 Bengals backups who need to step up in place of injured starters

The Bengals are currently without several key players, so these guys will have to step up if the Bengals are going to make the playoffs.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals are banged up coming into Monday night.

Both teams will either be without key players or have players dealing with injuries. Unfortunately, the NFL doesn’t based their score around who is in or out for that game, so the players stepping in for injured Bengals can’t miss a beat.

Here are the backups who need to step up for the Bengals to win on Monday Night.

Safeties Clayton Fejedelem and Josh Shaw

Shawn Williams will miss his second straight game due to injury, which means Fejedelem and Shaw will probably pick up the slack. This is a very big deal considering the Steelers passing attack is pretty potent. Although if Brown is out it will be a little easier on everyone.

The key will be these two communicating with the rest of the secondary, and getting to the right spot. The last time these two teams met the Steelers scored an easy touchdown off a miscommunication in the secondary. It is pretty easy to assume they will attack who ever is at that spot.

Defensive end Jordan Willis

Michael Johnson is questionable with a back injury, but if he can’t go Willis will be next up. You will probably also see plenty of Chris Smith as well, and Carl Lawson in his regular role.

Pass rush may not be the thing Willis will have to step up with the most. It may be stopping the run that could have a huge effect on this game. The Steelers will probably run at the rookie early, and see if he is up for the challenge.

The Bengals have struggled as of late to slow down opposing running backs, and Johnson wasn’t a huge part of those struggles. Still Willis will have to prove he can hold his own. Otherwise the Steelers and Le’Veon Bell will have a relatively easy day moving the ball.

Linebacker Jordan Evans

After Evans flashed in the preseason, there has been a growing part of the fan base that has wanted to see what the sixth-round pick is capable of. In his limited playing time so far this season he hasn’t disappointed.

This week he will probably see an extended amount of playing time with both Nick Vigil and Vincent Rey out. Some people may assume Kevin Minter will soak up that playing time, but Evans out played Minter last week after Vigil went down.

It seems the Bengals view Minter as a running down linebacker, which is strange considering he did well in coverage with the Cardinals.

This is an early chance for us all to evaluate Evans, but i will be against one of the toughest matchups in the NFL with Bell on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Not only will Evans have to run Bell down in the running game, but he will likely be tasked with covering Bell in the passing game.

That means he will have to make plenty of open tackles on one of the best running backs in the NFL. If Brown can’t go Evans may also get targeted plenty of times in the passing game whether he is defending Bell or a tight end.