The Bengals get a major boost Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 19) when pass rusher Carl Lawson plays for the first time since the PBS opener three weeks ago. Lawson has been nursing a hamstring injury since he played 27 snaps against the 49ers on 43 percent of the plays.
Look for the same kind of percentage against Arizona, which ought to give starting ends Carlos Dunlap and Sam Hubbard a breather. But even when Lawson played in the first two games, the starters were still getting at least 80 percent of the snaps with the five-man line receiving pretty favorable reviews. What Lawson does is open it up for a guy like Hubbard to slide inside on passing downs and with the Cardinals starting a new left guard that could be interesting.
The return of defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow is probably going take more of a load off both starting tackles in Geno Atkins and Andrew Billings. Although Atkins played 82 percent of the snaps when Glasgow played in Seattle and 79 percent Monday night, so he's playing no matter what. But it should help Billings. He played 37 percent of the snaps in Seattle and 77 Monday.
Lawson brings plenty of juice with his always active pass rush and he says he's at 100 percent, which they'll need against Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.
"Great athlete as you would think of a guy taken with the first pick," Lawson said. "Respect everyone, fear no one."
FAMILIAR FACES FOR ANDRE: In the It Never Gets Any Easier Dept., the Bengals line up against two of the NFL's best pass rushers six days after allowing Andy Dalton's career-high eight sacks.
Terrell Suggs has more sacks than anybody in history against the Bengals with 12.5 during in 28 games during his 17 seasons and his next one gives him 137 in his career, breaking a tie with Jared Allen and putting him into 11th place on the all-time list. Opposite him is Chandler Jones, whose three sacks this season are part of the 44 that have made him the NFL's most prolific sacker since 2016. Suggs is coming off a 1.5-sack game in Seattle, giving him 3.5 in his first four games since leaving the Ravens after 16 years.
Bengals assistant offensive line coach Ben Martin says it like this: "The only stat I had to look up about Terrell Suggs was this one: 233 games. That's all I need to know. 233 games."
Bengals left tackle Andre Smith, who has played Suggs' Ravens 11 times (with a 7-4 record), didn't line up against him all that much as the right tackle. That was mostly left to his left tackle in those games, which was Andrew Whitworth in all of them. In the seven years they were a tandem (2009-15), Suggs had just three of those 12.5 sacks. He's had better luck against the Steelers (15 sacks) and Browns (19), each in 29 games.
"I usually had (Elvis) Dumervil," Smith said of his matchup with the Ravens. "Suggs is very savvy. Quick first step. He looks pretty good. He doesn't look like Year 17. Suggs is just smart. He knows how to get to the quarterback. He's a pro."
Smith is a pro, too. He's got 114 games himself and he's sucking it up playing out of position for a team that is without its two top left tackles. Sunday is his 98th NFL start, his sixth as a left tackle, and he's rebounding from a tough night in Pittsburgh, where he allowed a sack-strip.
But like offensive line coach Jim Turner said, ""The great thing about Andre is that he got beat early in the game, but he bowed up. Andre's not going in the tank. He played a pretty good game."
The Cards lead the NFL with 10 forced fumbles and Jones has three of them. Smith was with Arizona for half of last season and sometimes worked against Jones in practice. Suggs is usually the right end and Jones at left. But depending on the foe, they'll swap. They don't switch much during the game.
"Very underrated," Smith said of Jones. "Unorthodox. Weird. Long arms. I mean, really long arms. He's a great player and an even better person."
Smith went back to the film and is ready for either. He's worked against both, but he's studying them on tape anyway.
"Continue to evaluate and take the criticisms and work at getting better," Smith said. "You're already harder on yourself than everybody else. You have to have a next-play mentality."
LAWSON LIBRARY: Lawson loves to study other pass rushers, so here are his takes on Suggs and Jones:
"Chandler Jones is the most underrated pass rusher in the league. You look at the top tier tackles in the league, he's beaten all of them. Tyron Smith, David Bakhitiari, Trent Williams. You count on a sack from that guy in every game. He's got a stab and a jab. He's long and flexible. Suggs is just a real savvy vet. Very instinctive."
INJURY UPDATE: Defensive lineman Kerry Wynn (concussion) is basically the only Bengal ruled out. Wide receiver A.J. Green (ankle) and left tackle Cordy Glenn (concussion) weren't expected to play Sunday. For the Cards, they've got receiver problems, too. The Bengals don't have two of their three starters and the Cards probably won't either. Christian Kirk has been ruled out and Damiere Byrd (hamstring) didn't practice this week and is questionable.