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Bengals-Browns: Key players


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Carlos Dunlap, Cincinnati DE

Dunlap played a career-high 71 snaps last week after backup left end Robert Geathers was lost for the season. With more snaps comes more chances for Dunlap to get after inexperienced Browns QB Brian Hoyer and show why the Bengals invested $40 million in him in the offseason.

Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati RB

The rookie’s role continues to expand, and so does his production. Look for him to be an even bigger part of the gameplan this week because his receiving and running skills are the perfect way to slow down Cleveland’s strong pass rush with screens and draws.

Rey Maualuga, Cincinnati LB

Maualuga has been impressive against the run all season, and if he can continue that today against newly signed Cleveland back Willis McGahee, the Bengals will force Cleveland to try to ride the right arm of Hoyer, who is making just his third NFL start.

D’Qwell Jackson, Cleveland LB

He has 5.5 sacks in his last four games against the Bengals, including a career-high three in the first meeting last year. Jackson led the Browns in tackles last year and has a team-high 29 already this season.

Barkevious Mingo, Cleveland LB

With starter Jabaal Sheard missing practice Wednesday and Thursday, the rookie Mingo could see his role expand time against Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth, his friend and mentor who hails from the same hometown. Drafted sixth overall in April, Mingo has recorded a sack in both of the games he’s played this.

Willis McGahee, Cleveland RB

Signed off the street 48 hours before last week’s game at Minnesota, McGahee carried eight times for just 9 yards. But with a full week of practice under his belt, he should see much more action against the Bengals and could be the key to keeping one of the league’s best pass rushes off Hoyer.


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