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The Bengals announced Friday that DT Geno Atkins tore his right ACL in Thursday night's loss to the Dolphins.  That's a big blow to the Cincinnati defense, taking away arguably the league's best interior pass-rusher.  Atkins' pressure not only creates sacks for himself but flushes QBs out to the waiting arms of Bengals DEs.  We won't downgrade the team D or any individual Cincinnati defenders in our rest of the way rankings before seeing how the team responds.  But don't be surprised if the unit slips a bit.

Recent Shark Bites

Bengals DT Geno Atkins (knee) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Raiders. He put in a full practice Wednesday before sitting out Thursday and then returning to a limited workout Friday. We'll check his status Sunday afternoon.

9:31am EDT 7/30/14

Doctors have cleared Bengals DT Geno Atkins to return to action, and the team has removed him from the PUP.  Atkins has been out since tearing his right ACL in Week 9 last season.  Expect the Bengals to bring him along slowly, especially considering the importance of Atkins as arguably the league's #1 interior pass-rusher.  If he's anywhere close to 100%, he'll provide a big boost to the Cincinnati defense and be worth a gamble in DT-specific slots on your fantasy football team.  His ceiling is much more limited for general DL use in the 2014 IDP rankings.

Bengals DT Geno Atkins is beginning training camp on the active/PUP list. The team can activate its star interior pass-rusher at any point, but this move should remind fantasy owners that Atkins is coming off an ACL tear. Expecting him to get right back to his previous performance level wouldn't be fair, at least until he shows it on the field. We're not pushing Atkins too high up the 2014 IDP rankings at this point. There are safer -- and similar-upside -- options even for DT-specific roles in your IDP league.

Bengals DT Geno Atkins left tonight's game at Miami in the 1st half with a right knee injury.  NFL Network reports that his return is questionable.  That not only takes a notable IDP off the field but robs the Cincinnati defense of 1 of the league's best interior pass-rushers.

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