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Paul Guenther expects Geno Atkins to play vs Arizona Cardinals

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Atkins had already established himself as the NFL's best defensive tackle when he tore his ACL in Week 9. He's expected to be ready for the start of the 2014 NFL season.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

As the Bengals hit the field for Wednesday's practice, head coach Marvin Lewis sounded pessimistic about Geno Atkins' chances of playing Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. The All-Pro defensive tackle is just now getting back to doing 11-on-11 work on a consistent basis, so for him to play in a live game would be a big step.

That said, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is more optimistic about Atkins' chances of playing on Sunday.

Atkins had already established himself as the NFL's best defensive tackle when he tore his ACL in Week 9. Atkins is expected to be ready for the start of the 2014 NFL season. Prior to going down last year, Atkins had racked up 20 QB hurries (fourth on the team) and six sacks (second on the team) in essentially just eight games. Had he finished the season, he would have likely led the team in both categories for the second consecutive season.