I sometimes put the game on mute when I’m watching and I missed all the introductory stuff before the game last night – so I’m not sure if I just missed it being mentioned or what. But I didn’t realize until this morning while checking the box score for tackles etc that Cullen Jenkins didn’t play. I then confirmed it via the internet. Wow. And he has a hamstring issue – which is almost always a major, nagging, ongoing concern. Ugh.
This fact makes the victory last night even more impressive to me. When Jenkins and Pickett are in there, that D-Line is much better against the run and even in the QB pressure area too. Wow.
Forgive my optimism but when Pickett, Jenkins and Chillar are back at full strength, I think this defense may end up being better than it was to start the year. Bishop will keep making plays, Hawk has been making some plays anyway (though remains a weaker link), and with Chillar back to his strong-coverage self and Brad Jones maybe making some progress too – and of course Matthews back – and Harris and Bigby adding depth – and our backups like CJ Wilson, Jarius Wynn, Frank Zombo, Charlie Peprah and our CBs having now gained valuable playing experience…OK, I’ll stop. But my point is that this defense could become tougher to deal with – especially after the bye week when guys have a chance to heal some.