According to the Bengals’ official website, Carlos Dunlap is expected to miss about a month with a knee injury, which puts his availability for week 1 in serious doubt. Dunlap is one of the league’s most underrated players as the 2010 2nd round pick graded out as ProFootballFocus’ 7th rated defensive end last season, with 5 sacks, 13 quarterback hits, and 29 quarterback pressures on 302 pass rush snaps, good for a rate of 15.6%, as a situational player.
Heading into his 3rd year in the league, he was expected to have a larger role, after the losses of defensive ends Frostee Rucker and Jonathan Fanene this offseason, and with Robert Geathers also expected to miss about a month with a knee injury. However, it appears the Bengals will be without his services for a couple of games, bad news for a team thin at defensive end.
With Rucker and Fanene gone and Geathers and Dunlap hurt, Michael Johnson is the only member of their 2011 defensive end rotation still likely to play week 1 and he graded out as the 2nd worst pass rusher of the bunch, with 7 sacks, 6 quarterback hits, and 15 quarterback pressures on 433 pass rush snaps (6.5%). He could have to start next to Jamaal Anderson, a bust and career journeyman who has never had much success anywhere.