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Jessie Bates wants Bengals to sign Geno Atkins amid onslaught of d-line injuries

Atkins has the second most sacks in team history and is a current free agent. The Bengals also have most of their defensive tackles injured.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Cincinnati Bengals Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals, if it were up to star safety Jessie Bates, would be getting a former star defensive tackle back in the locker room.

Geno Atkins, a franchise legend who has the second-most sacks in franchise history at 75.5, is a free agent and hasn’t played a snap since parting ways with Cincinnati, despite being cleared to play.

The Bengals suffered several injuries on their defensive line during last night’s Wild Card victory over the Las Vegas Raiders.

Larry Ogunjobi went to the locker room and did not return. The extent of his injury isn’t quite confirmed, but it is a foot injury that has him day-to-day.

Fellow defensive tackle Mike Daniels’ return is looking “unlikely” due to a groin injury.

Josh Tupou is still out with an MCL injury suffered in Week 18.

Even practice squad defensive tackle Renell Wren is considered “day-to-day” due to an unknown injury.

Couple that with players like Trey Hendrickson missing snaps, and having the depth at defensive tackle could be a back-breaking problem if it's not corrected. Bates tried to put fix the problem himself, reportedly reaching out to Atkins, his former teammate.

It makes sense, and the way that Atkins left the franchise was far from how fellow teammate Carlos Dunlap forced his way out. The bridge shouldn’t have been burnt.

While the team’s interest in Atkins isn’t known, the fit would be ideal for both sides, especially if Atkins, who is 6-foot-1 300 pounds, is still in shape and able to provide productive snaps. Atkins played eight games for the Bengals in 2020 before having shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff.

Because of all the injuries along the defensive line, the Bengals will, at the very least, bring several linemen in this week for workouts. Perhaps Atkins will be one of them.