BY GEOFF HOBSON
Seeking to slow down the NFL's sixth-best running game, the Bengals changed up their defensive line for today's game against the Broncos.
After 92 starts at end, John Copeland moves inside to tackle. Michael Bankston moves from left end to right and Vaughn Booker makes his first appearance at left end since his fainting episode Sept. 17 in Jacksonville. Oliver Gibson, off a solid game against Steelers Pro Bowl center Dermontti Dawson, remains at tackle.
But the Bengals go into the game against the Broncos' relentless offensive line one defensive lineman short. Defensive line coach Tim Krumrie felt he had to deactivate tackle Tom Barndt to rest the injured shoulder that has nagged him since early in training camp.
The Bengals also deactivated fullback Nick Williams and cornerback Mark Roman. The Bengals had been alternating Roman and fellow rookie cornerback Robert Bean each game on the active list, but Bean is playing in the dime package and Roman is sitting for the second straight week.
Booker's start puts three Cincinnati high school products in today's starting lineup. Booker is out of Taft High School, left tackle John Jackson is from Woodward High School and right cornerback Rodney Heath is from Mount Healthy High School.