The Indianapolis Colts trio of running backs combined for just 68 yards on the ground last Sunday versus the Cleveland Browns. 57 of those 68 yards belonged to Jonathan Taylor.
The Cincinnati Bengals defensive line is banged up. D.J. Reader is out for the season with a quad injury. Sam Hubbard is on IR after hurting his elbow, and the status of all-pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins is uncertain.
Something has to give Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
To preview the matchup, Bengals reporter Paul Dehner Jr jumped on The Fan Morning Show with Jeff Rickard, Kevin Bowen, and Big Joe. He discussed that stopping the run has been a problem for the 1-3 Bengals.
“Reader was kind of the glue holding that thing together,” Dehner Jr said. “They really improved defensively, because they were absolutely wretched the last couple years. They’re starting to become a better group, but now this has all been thrown in.”
Against Cleveland, Nyheim Hines had just three carries for eight yards. Jordan Wilkins took one snap on the ground for a single yard. The run has to be better for Indianapolis heading into games looming such as Baltimore and Green Bay. They may have the chance to set the tone Sunday.
“(The Bengals) have five defensive tackles on either opt-out or injured reserve at this point,” Dehner Jr added. “They’re deep into the depth chart pulling guys like Xavier Williams this week.”
The run game being a positive factor also helps Philip Rivers. The Colts quarterback has had to throw the ball over 30 times twice this season. He has two interceptions in each game.
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