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DT Atkins playing bigger role in Bengals' defense

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Posted Aug. 19, 2011 @ 4:50 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

With the release of Tank Johnson, Bengals second-year DT Geno Atkins is getting an opportunity to show he can thrive getting more snaps. The quick and explosive Atkins, who is slated to start next to run-stuffing NT Domata Peko, notched three sacks as a rookie. Atkins, a 2010 fourth-round pick from Georgia, is listed at 300 pounds this season after entering the NFL at 293, which can't hurt in his efforts to be an every-down player. Pat Sims, who has missed training camp with a knee injury, figures as the top reserve behind Peko when he returns, with Clinton McDonald the top option behind Atkins. Johnson was a starter in each of his two seasons in Cincinnati but was limited to seven games a season ago with a knee injury, and the Bengals' depth along the D-line is a relative strength compared to other positions on the roster. 

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