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mes while recovering from knee surgery and was on the field for 36 plays during a 16-
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CINCINNATI (AP) — Bengals coach Marvin Lewis knew that linebacker Vontaze Burfict was back when he felt his feet leave the floor.Burfict Drew Sample Jersey Womens , who has been suspended repeatedly in his career, rejoined the team after completing a four-game ban for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancers. He made quite an entrance."When he came up from behind and picked me up off the floor on Monday, I knew it could only be one person," Lewis said Wednesday. "I guess it's time to wrestle with the bear again." The Miami Dolphins (3-1) get to wrestle him next.Burfict practiced on Wednesday and is expected to play on Sunday when the Bengals (3-1) try to get their defense in order with their most notable player back in place. It's the fourth straight season that Burfict has sat out because of injury or suspension.Cincinnati is off to its best start since 2015 in spite of a defense that ranks 29th in yards allowed and has given up the 10th-most points in the league.Atlanta piled up 495 yards — Matt Ryan threw for 419 and three touchdowns — but the Bengals pulled out a 37-36 win on Andy Dalton's touchdown pass with 7 seconds left .The Bengals' defense is last in the league on third down, allowing opponents to convert 57 percent."We need to get a lot better," linebacker Preston Brown said. "Hopefully Tez can help us make that leap."Burfict hasn't lined up for a snap this year. He had an ankle injury that limited him during training camp, and he sat out all four preseason games before leaving the team for a month to serve his suspension.Temperatures in the mid-80s are forecast for Paul Brown Stadium, which also will affect Burfict's stamina."He needs to come in and take his time Andy Dalton Jersey ," cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said. "It's going to be totally different from training (camp). You're going to burn out faster."In the past three seasons, he's played significant snaps in his first game back.— In 2015, he missed the first six games while recovering from knee surgery and was on the field for 36 plays during a 16-10 win at Pittsburgh, getting five tackles. His tackle on Le'Veon Bell tore the running back's knee.— In 2016, he missed the first three games on an NFL suspension for egregious hits and played 34 snaps during a 22-7 win over the Dolphins, getting three tackles and knocking down one pass.— Last year, he missed the first three games while serving another NFL suspension for an egregious preseason hit and played 52 snaps during a 31-7 win at Cleveland, getting six tackles — second on the team.The Bengals think he'll improve the defense for however many plays he can manage on Sunday."His natural knack for the ball — that's one of the rare things A.J. Green Jersey ," defensive end Carlos Dunlap said. "Everybody doesn't have that. You can have a bookworm and he still doesn't have a knack for the ball. That's one of the things he had coming in."Brown signed with the Bengals in the offseason and got to practice with him in training camp. Burfict turned out to be exactly what Brown expected."I knew he was crazy, knew he was smart," Brown said. "He checked all the boxes on what I thought he was."MIXON BACK AT PRACTICE: Running back Joe Mixon had a limited practice Wednesday. He's missed the past two games following arthroscopic surgery to remove a piece of cartilage from his right knee. Running back Giovani Bernard sat out practice with a sore knee, so it would be beneficial if Mixon made it through practice this week without an issue."I am just hoping that they put me out there but if not, I'll be ready for Pittsburgh for sure," Mixon said.Brown (shoulder), defensive end Michael Johnson (knee), receiver John Ross (groin) and offensive guard Alex Redmond (shoulder) were limited in practice. Tight end Tyler Eifert is still on the roster even though he suffered a broken right ankle Sunday and had surgery.PRICE NOT CLOSE: Rookie center Billy Price said Wednesday that he's been told to wear a protective boot on his right foot for two more weeks Michael Jordan Cincinnati Bengals Jersey , and then he'll be evaluated. Price sat out the past two games with a partially torn ligament in the foot. Doctors want it fully healed before he does anything strenuous."They're being extra cautious right now," Price said. "If I do end up popping this ligament, it's a four-month rehab." The Bengals suffered one of their more soul-crushing losses in recent history yesterday. They also suffered quite a few injuries, which opened up a ton of opportunity for bench players. Let’s examine which players got more playing time than they probably deserved.Here are this week’s snap count takeaways:This is the obligatory update of the Bengals getting out snapped by their opponent.The Bengals had 61 snaps while the Steelers had 73. The two teams were close at halftime in this respect, but Cincinnati failed to maintain drives as well in the second half. The receiver position was the one that caught the most flack on Sunday. John Ross wasn’t able to go with a groin injury. Alex Erickson (46) played a vast majority of the third receiver snaps. He still only ended up with two catches for eight yards. That was so much better than Cody Core though. Core had three targets, and two ended up being pretty crucial drops. What’s weird is Core only played nine snaps. That is way too high of a target-to-snap ratio for Core. Josh Malone (four) played less than Core, and at this point you have to question why that was. Is Malone worse than Core? If only the Bengals had another option that they could activate when Ross can’t go... (Before you comment, I’m talking about Auden Tate. I think Auden Tate should be active over Core).Okay lets jump into the mess that was the snap distribution in the secondary. We’re going to start with the safeties. Jessie Bates played the most snaps of any defender with 69. He missed four plays while being checked for a concussion Michael Jordan Jersey 2019 , but he came back in and ended up making the stop that led to the Bengals goal line stand that kept them in the game. Shawn Williams (42) left the game twice to be checked for a concussion and the second time he left they kept him out for good. This opened up the door for Clayton Fejedelem (33) to play. We even saw a glimpse of Brandon Wilson at safety for two plays.The cornerback position was far more fluid. William Jackson was questionable coming into the day, but he ended up playing the most snaps of any corner with 64. Dre Kirkpatrick wasn’t far behind with 63 plays though. Darqueze Dennard left the game with a shoulder injury after only playing 12 plays. Tony McRae filled in with 20 snaps, and rookie corner back Darius Phillips played four plays. Phillips even made the stop and forced the fumble that held Pittsburgh to their second field goal in the fourth quarter.It appears the Bengals are over the Hardy Nickerson Jr. experiment as he only played five snaps despite Nick Vigil (13) getting knocked out of the game early. Instead it was Vincent Rey who replaced Vigil with 47 snaps. He was just ahead of Preston Brown (45). Vontaze Burfict played 61 snaps, which was the most of any linebacker, and Jordan Evans kicked in 23 snaps as well. The Linebackers got plenty of run as the Steelers often went with a two-tight end set.Carlos Dunlap (50) and Geno Atkins (54) led the defensive line in snaps. Surprisingly (or maybe not), Michael Johnson was right behind them with 45 snaps. This was significantly more than Carl Lawson (22), Jordan Willis (27) and Sam Hubbard (26). It seems like the Bengals chose to go with experience there, but no one really helped get pressure that much on Sunday anyway. However Color Rush Michael Jordan Jersey , having Johnson out there for 45 plays isn’t going to help that.Joe Mixon played 42 snaps on Sunday. I’m not stating this to say he should’ve played more because there is a decent chance the team and/or Mixon weren’t trying to push the running back too much. The issue is Mark Walton’s 19 snaps and the fact he didn’t do anything of note with them. He had two carries for negative two yards on the day. It seems like if Cincinnati was going to rotate Mixon against the Steelers that they shouldn’t have been so quick to part with a running back like Thomas Rawls. You could probably make an argument that you give those 19 snaps to Rawls he gives you more than negative two yards. This performance just makes the Bengals pick of Walton that much more confusing. He is still a rookie though, but this is something he needs to learn from.The Bengals snap counts vs the Steelers#POS.NAMESnapsPercentage of snaps#POS.NAMESnapsPercentage of snaps
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