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Bengals worked out several linebackers as defense looks to recover

Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is under the concussion protocol and Sean Porter is gone for the season with an ACL injury. The team looked at several linebackers on Tuesday for depth.


The Cincinnati Bengals worked out former Steelers, Eagles and Broncos linebacker Adrian Robinson and former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Yawin Smallwood on Tuesday, according to Aaron Wilson with the National Football Post.

Robinson attended Temple University where he was a first-team All-Mid-American Conference pick as a senior, as well as an East Coast Athletic Conference All-Star. As a sophomore in 2009, Robinson was the conference Defensive Most Valuable Player along with a first-team all-conference pick after recording 14 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles. Smallwood is a former Falcons seventh-round draft pick from Connecticut. He has recently worked out for the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots.

Both departed without a contract and the team eventually claimed former New Orleans Saints linebacker Khairi Fortt off waivers on Tuesday (we're assuming he was part of the workout).

With Vontaze Burfict dealing with his second concussion protocol and Sean Porter heading to season-ending Injured Reserve with an ACL injury, the Bengals are facing a significant depth issue at linebacker and are currently in need of bodies.

Yet, losing Burfict has created a noticeable impact. During Cincinnati's last two games, the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots have combined for 369 yards rushing -- it's the most they've allowed during a two-game stretch in nearly five years.

Burfict gets the calls and puts players in position. Not having him is a considerable problem.

"He’s our quarterback, yes, absolutely," Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said via "We had guys in there. Guys we had around there should know what they are doing. Certainly when you don’t have a guy like that in these types of games it’s valuable to have those kinds of guys."

Much of the blame from Sunday's collapse includes phrases like "up-tempo", "misalignment" and "miscommunication".

"It was a number of guys depending on the coverage," Guenther said. "We weren't exact in things we need to be exact on, quite frankly. It was one of those days we had an off night. That’s all I can tell you is we had an off night, I’m responsible for it and we’ll get it fixed. I told them if things go bad, it’s Tom Brady he’s going to make some plays on you it’s how we respond and we didn’t respond how we should."

Either way, defense is still the heart and soul of this team. It needs to rebound. And soon.