Cincinnati Bengals: Who Needs to Step Up in Geno Atkins’ Absence?

November 13, 2013   ·     ·   Jump to comments

Cincinnati Bengals All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins suffered a torn ACL in a Week 9 tilt against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. Atkins was officially placed on season-ending injured reserve by the team the following Monday, according to Pro Football Talk.
At the time of his injury, Atkins was leading the Bengals in sacks with six and served as the team's best defender against the run. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked Atkins as the league's seventh-best defensive tackle with a positive-20.5 overall grade.
This loss is obviously devastating to a 6-4 Bengals team that hopes to find a third consecutive playoff berth in 2013. The biggest remaining question is: Which Bengals defender must step up in Atkins' absence?
In defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's 4-3 scheme, the next man that will align next to nose tackle Domata Peko is second-year player Brandon Thompson.
Thompson does not have the same tenacity as Atkins in terms o...

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