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    September 29, 2018

    CINCINNATI - Geno Atkins was in the Bengals locker room briefly Wednesday, moving slowly on crutches. Allen Robinson Bears Jersey . He declined to answer questions about his torn knee ligament as he headed for a side door and home. Its still too painful to discuss. Still a bit painful for the teammates who will miss him, too. The Bengals (6-3) will try to maintain their lead in the AFC North without their best defensive lineman. Atkins, an All-Pro tackle last season, leads the team with six sacks and is a disruptive force up the middle that Cincinnati already misses badly. "A friend," defensive end Wallace Gilberry said. "A hell of a teammate. Hell of an athlete. I could go on for days." They dont have that much time. The Bengals have a chance to all but clinch their division in the next two weeks when they play at Baltimore (3-5) and host Cleveland (4-5). Back-to-back wins would leave them with a daunting lead heading down the stretch. The Bengals reached the playoffs as a wild card each of the last two seasons. They havent won the division title since 2009. "Honestly we feel like these next two weeks are the biggest of the season because of where we are in the division," left tackle Andrew Whitworth said. "We get an opportunity. These games can tilt things one way or the other." Their biggest challenge is filling holes on a defence that has lost some of its best players in the last three weeks. Top cornerback Leon Hall is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon. Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga missed a 22-20 overtime loss in Miami last Thursday with a concussion and an injured left knee. Atkins tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the first half of the loss at Miami, a significant setback to a line already missing end Robert Geathers for the season. "You can hear the rumbles of respect that our guys have for him," Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said during a conference call on Wednesday. "I can imagine that its going to be a little different in there just because he is such a good player." The Bengals signed defensive tackle Kheeston Randall to fill Atkins roster spot on Tuesday. Randall was the Dolphins seventh-round pick last year and played in 12 games. He was waived by Miami on Aug. 31. Theyll work others into the middle of the line rotation as well. Tackle Brandon Thompson, a second-year player from Clemson, will get much more time in Atkins spot. Thompson played in only three games last season but has played in all nine this year. "I think it was very beneficial to just be able to sit back and learn from those great defensive linemen we have, just to sit back and take a whole year and soak everything in," Thompson said. "I was a sponge last year. I learned so much. I just thank those guys for that." The Bengals had fewer injuries than average in the opening weeks, but have been hit hard lately. With the injuries piling up, coach Marvin Lewis showed his team some statistics about Super Bowl champions overcoming injuries. "You look at the last four or five Super Bowl champions and the amount of people that went on (injured reserve), and theyve overcome it," Lewis said. "You look at those teams, and those teams put double-digit numbers of players on injured reserve. "And their leadership of the team, the maturity of the team, it all plays out." Co-ordinator Mike Zimmer has a reputation for being able to plug newcomers into the defence quickly without having the overall performance suffer. "I guess thats his calling card," safety Chris Crocker said. "He can put in other guys and have them play together and find a way to win. The biggest part is putting somebody in there who knows what to do. "Everybodys athletically gifted and talented. But at this point in the season when you bring in somebody new, you just have to be up to speed on what to do. If you get them to do that, thats 60 to 70 per cent of the battle. Well be fine." Notes: Whitworth, Maualuga and defensive lineman Devon Still (elbow) didnt practice on Wednesday. Whitworth missed the Miami game with a sore right knee. ... RB Giovani Bernard (bruised ribs), LB Mike Boley (hamstring), TE Jermaine Gresham (groin) and guard Kevin Zeitler (hamstring) were limited in practice. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org Joel Iyiegbuniwe Bears Jersey . Today, well look at five frontcourt players today, here from the Bay Area. 1. AMIR JOHNSON (Raptors): I cant figure out what the issue or problem is, but based upon what Im seeing, hes not right. Roquan Smith Jersey . LOUIS -- Known for his game-managing and defensive skills, Yadier Molina made another statement with his bat.The United States Olympic hockey team used a six-goal second period to blow out Slovakia 7-1 Thursday in Sochi. The second period featured goals from Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, David Backes, Dustin Brown and two from Paul Stastny. Keslers goal at 1:26 of the second turned out to be the game winner. It was Stastnys second goal that put the U.S. ahead 5-1 and resulted in Halaks exit. Peter Budaj came in replacement but wasnt effective, allowing goals by Brown andd Kessel. Chase Daniel Jersey. Tomas Tatar had the lone high point for the Slovaks when he scored the first goal of the second period, tying 1-1 just 24 seconds into the second by beating U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick on a snapshot. John Carlson scored the first U.S. goal at 14:27 in the first period. Toronto Maple Leaf teammates James van Riemsdyk and Kessel put on a show, combining for five points. The U.S. finished with 33 shots to the Slovakians 23. Cheap Hockey Capitals Jerseys Cheap Hockey Penguins Jerseys Cheap Hockey Flyers Jerseys Cheap Hockey Rangers Jerseys Cheap Hockey Islanders Jerseys Cheap Hockey Devils Jerseys Cheap Hockey Blue Jackets Jerseys Cheap Hockey Hurricanes JerseysCheap Hockey Maple Leafs Jerseys Cheap Hockey Lightning Jerseys Cheap Hockey Senators Jerseys Cheap Hockey Canadiens Jerseys Cheap Hockey Panthers Jerseys Cheap Hockey Red Wings Jerseys Cheap Hockey Sabres Jerseys Cheap Hockey Bruins Jerseys ' ' '