Cincinnati's defense didn't get the lift it needed needed last week against Baltimore. But if it needs one against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, DE Carlos Dunlap may provide it.
Cincinnati's top pass-rusher hasn't played since spraining his knee in the first preseason game but practiced all week, leading him to be listed as questionable for Week 2.
Dunlap said his knee was responding well to extra work this week and coach Marvin Lewis sounded as optimistic as he's been regarding activating him.
“He's had good work the last three days,” Lewis said. “I think the big thing, in estimation of he and the doctors and the trainers, is how did he come through the workload he's had the last three days.”
Scott, too?: RB Bernard Scott (hand) missed the final two preseason games and opener against Baltimore, but like Dunlap, returned to practice this week. He participated every day as the Bengals evaluated how well he could carry the ball and block with his injured hand.
He's listed as questionable, but he's likely to see time as offensive coordinator Jay Gruden works toward the two-back rotation he desired before the season.
The good news for Gruden is there's no reason to rush Scott back after seeing how well BenJarvus Green-Ellis (18 carries, 91 yards) did against Baltimore.
“Right now we're trying to work (Scott) back into the reps this week and if he doesn't play this week I think it will be good to get another week of practice for him,” Gruden said. “If he does play, then I'd like to get him three or four series and see how he does.”
Kirkpatrick working back: CB Dre Kirkpatrick (knee) hoped to be back by this point, but suffered a setback one week before the opener and hasn't practiced since. With five veteran corners in front of him, Kirkpatrick's taking advantage of the situation to assure no more setbacks occur.
He took a step forward in his rehab this week, working on the side with trainers for the first time.
“I'm hungry, super hungry,” the first-round pick out of Alabama said. “But like I told them, I don't want to go out there 95 percent, 98 percent. I want to go out there 100 percent and coach is doing a great job of maintaining that.”
Stat of the week: The Bengals have won 12 of the past 15 meetings with Cleveland and six of the past seven.
For those looking to predict a score for the latest edition, know that of the past six meetings between the two, the final score has been 23-20 half the time.
Quote of the week: Gruden to a small pool of print reporters talking about the Bengals' failures in the red zone contributing to the loss to Baltimore: “If you miss throws down there, you're not going to score. The teams that make those plays are the teams that come out on top and the teams that don't make them are usually 0-1 talking to you slappies.”
Follow Paul Dehner Jr. for Bengals updates on Twitter at @CBSBengals.