Bengals Expect Defensive Lineman Back After Bye

The Cincinnati Bengals are entering their bye on a high after a Week 9 42-21 dismantling of the Carolina Panthers, and they should have even more good vibes when they play in Week 11. According to defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, defensive tackle D.J. Reader is expected to return for the team's matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Reader has missed the Bengals' last six games with a knee injury suffered in the team's Week 3 27-12 win over the New York Jets. He had logged 10 total tackles and earned an elite 91.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus over his three starts this season.

Reader's return should provide the Bengals with a crucial boost for the back half of the season. After a rough start that included two straight losses to open the year, the Bengals have found their rhythm in recent weeks, scoring 30+ points in three of the four previous weeks. At 5-4, the Bengals will benefit from Reader's stellar play as they prepare for a postseason run.

Reader joined the Bengals as a free agent in 2020 following four years with the Houston Texans. He has proven a consistently strong and sometimes dominant inside force for the team when available, tallying 72 total tackles and 2.0 sacks in his 23 starts with the team. 
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