We know Smith will match-up with A.J. Green this Sunday, but what about the Andrew Hawkins and the Armon Binns of the Bengals roster? Who will cover these other Bengals threats?
This week in practice we have seen Nolan Carroll return to work. He has an Achilles issue currently, but word out of Miami is that 6’1″ 3rd-year player from the University of Maryland will be able to play this weekend.
A major part of the equation for Miami GM Jeff Ireland trading former #1 pick CB Vontae Davis to the Indianapolis Colts was the teams desire to get Carroll more playing time and more responsibility. Carroll has played in all 4 ‘Phins games, and was out there a ton vs the Arizona Cardinals last week. A healthy Carroll is going to be seeing the field more and more going forward. Question is – Is week 5 Carroll a healthy Carroll? Right now the word is – yes.
In the offseason the ‘Phins brought in veteran CB Richard Marshall on a 3-year deal. He too is hobbled (back issue) and in fact will miss practice this week. He is the clear #2 CB on this roster, so his absence would surely be an issue.
The good news is that the word out of Miami says Marshall will travel with the team, and is very likely to play vs the Bengals. We saw similar results last week (Marshall sitting out practice, listed as questionable etc) but he did play, and this week looks like more of that too.
The Bengals passing game is #7 in the NFL. They are throwing it around, deep too. Only the Carolina Panthers average more yards per pass than the Bengals. Being able to field their best CBs is imperative vs this team (especially since Miami is on the road). If the rumors are true then the ‘Phins will be at full strength. Hobbled yes, but not injured.
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