At last glance, three of the Bengals top secondary members did not practice Wednesday. Cornerbacks Brandon Ghee was out with a concussion and did not practice today, and Adam Jones and Dre Fitzpatrick are ailing as well. The situation at corner for the Bengals is so dire that they were forced to sign free agent Curtis Marsh, who last used to be with Philadelphia, to provide some assistance against the potent Packers’ passing attack.
If the Packers go five-wide against Cincy, they may be seeking defensive help from fans in the stands before this game is over. The key is the Packers offensive line giving Rodgers enough time to find receivers.
If Rodgers can get enough time, some of the deeper routes may be open. Right now, Cincinnati is anticipating the Packers to run short routes.
Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer noted this, saying:
“They (the Packers’ receivers) broke a lot of tackles last week. They’re not a big, deep-throwing team, but they throw it short and catch it and run like crazy. The receivers all do a great job blocking. They all run very precise routes.”
To be sure, in the last two games, the Packers have run short routes and relied on the receivers to gain yards after the catch. Part of that reason was the offensive line’s inability to hold back pressure. The line showed some improvement in the second half of the Washington game. If the Packers’ line can protect Rodgers, look for some deeper throws to wide receivers Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jordy Nelson.
If this occurs, the game could get ugly for Cincy fans quick.