It must be Steelers Sunday.
With an eye to keeping in check the Pittsburgh running game that has dominated this series, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis opted to suit up two nose tackles when he traded out Adolphus Washington for Josh Tupou on the inactive lost before Sunday's game at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals got one to fall their way when starting cornerback William Jackson (knee), designated questionable on Friday after being limited much of the week, got the start.
It's just the third time the 350-pound Tupou has been dressed with the Bengals apparently concerned about Steelers running back James Conner getting the NFL's 27th-ranked running game off the skids on an overcast drizzly day at PBS. The Bengals also went with seven linebackers when rookie Malik Jefferson got the call after sitting out last week's win against Miami.
Those were pretty much Lewis' only wrinkles. With tight ends Tyler Kroft (inactive) and Tyler Eifert on injured reserve, he needed a third tight end in Matt Lengel. They signed Lengel off the Texans' practice squad on Wednesday, but it's his third stint in Cincinnati after tours on the 2015 and 2016 practice squads. It's his eighth NFL game and first as a Bengal.
As expected running back Giovani Bernard (knee), wide receiver John Ross (groin) and center Billy Price (foot) were inactive. As they have been all season, so were rookie wide receiver Auden Tate and back-up tackle Cedric Ogbuehi.
Images from week six as the Bengals host the Steelers in an AFC North showdown.