DJ Reader throws out funny Tyreek Hill comment at Eli Apple

More minor Bengals-Dolphins jabs.

After his Cincinnati Bengals bested the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night, nose tackle DJ Reader took to Twitter to send off a parting shot after the Eli Apple vs. Tyreek Hill beef.

Reader jokingly tagged Apple and said the following: “so did he give what he owed you? Looked good from my seat.”

This was in reference to Hill’s trash talk publicly before the game in which he claimed he owed Apple.

Funnily enough after the game, players revealed that Hill actually referenced recent Jessie Bates comments while on the field, too.

When Dolphins fans tried to enter the fray, Reader was right there and ready to spar:

While Hill did put up 160 yards on the night, there was evidence that Apple held up just fine:

As for Hill, he said after the game he wants to link up with a Bengals coach who he felt disrespected him during the game.

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Bengals lose DJ Reader for significant time after tests on knee injury

Bad news for the Bengals and DJ Reader.

It doesn’t sound like the Cincinnati Bengals will lose star defensive lineman DJ Reader for the entire 2022 season.

But after testing on the knee injury he suffered in Week 3, it’s clear Reader will be on the shelf for quite a while.

According to Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Reader will be out “for an extended period of time.”

That’s a devastating blow for the Bengals defense considering Reader has easily been the best player on the entire roster this season (and come close to being that in each of the last prior two seasons, too).

The Bengals don’t have a good way to replace Reader (few teams would) and the jobs of the linebackers behind the line and the edge rushers will get much tougher with him watching from the sidelines.

If this injury ends up hovering around the one-month mark, it could put Reader’s return after a Week 10 bye before a key stretch of AFC games and a possible playoff push.

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DJ Reader and Zac Taylor comment on star defender’s knee injury

An optimistic take on the DJ Reader injury.

Cincinnati Bengals star defensive lineman DJ Reader left Sunday’s game against the New York Jets with a knee injury that raised big concerns because the team quickly ruled him out.

But in the wake of the big win over the Jets, both comments from Reader himself and head coach Zac Taylor almost made it sound like there isn’t major cause for concern.

That could still change, of course. But Taylor’s comment was vague enough to earn a raised eyebrow: “I just know it’s a knee injury. Hopefully, it’s better than not, but we’ll get more information on that.”

And then there was Reader himself, who took an optimistic slant, as noted via multiple reporters:

As we noted right after the injury happened, there was always a chance the Bengals were just being super cautious with Reader in a game they already controlled, especially after his serious injury during his first year with the team two seasons ago.

The safe approach for fans is to expect he won’t suit up on a short turnaround to Thursday’s game, but missing a top-five player at his position for a few games is much better than losing him for the season.

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Bengals lose star defender DJ Reader to knee injury vs. Jets

A big blow to the Bengals defense.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle DJ Reader left his team’s Week 3 game against the New York Jets in the second quarter with a knee injury.

Reader went down late in the first half with the injury and left the field quickly. He went to the medical tent on the sideline and the team was quick to rule him out for the game.

While he remained on the sidelines for what was becoming a blowout, the broadcast made it clear he was in discomfort putting any weight on the leg at all.

Reader is arguably the best nose tackle in football and his missing any time at all would be one of the biggest non-Joe Burrow or Ja’Marr Chase losses for a playoff-hopeful team. That was seen in 2020 after he suffered a season-ending leg injury during his first year with the team.

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Four former Tigers make this list of NFL’s top 100 players

A national writer recently published his list of the top 100 NFL players of 2022. CBS Sports Senior Writer Pete Prisco’s list of the NFL’s top 100 players features a quartet of former Clemson standouts. Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell is the …

A national writer recently published his list of the top 100 NFL players of 2022.

CBS Sports Senior Writer Pete Prisco’s list of the NFL’s top 100 players features a quartet of former Clemson standouts.

Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell is the highest-ranked former Tiger on Prisco’s list, coming in at No. 68.

Terrell is coming off a breakout 2021 season that saw him earn second-team All-Pro honors after tallying 81 total tackles (52 solo), a sack, a forced fumble, 16 passes defended and three interceptions in 16 games (16 starts).

A two-time All-ACC selection at Clemson, Terrell didn’t allow more than 32 yards in coverage in a game last season, allowed fewer than 20 yards in 13 games last season and also recorded the lowest passer rating allowed (47.5) and the lowest completion percentage allowed (43.9), according to PFF. Additionally, per PFF, the Atlanta native and 2020 first-round draft pick yielded only 200 yards over the course of the entire season.

“He quietly had an impressive season in his second year in the league,” Prisco wrote. “He is a long corner who can cover outside and is a willing tackler in the run game. He looks like a future star.”

Prisco has former Clemson and current Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins ranked three spots behind Terrell at No. 71.

Hopkins played only 10 games last season due to a hamstring injury and then a season-ending MCL injury that he suffered in Week 14 in December, and he will have to sit out the first six games of this season as he serves a six-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

However, the five-time Pro Bowler had missed a total of just two games in the first eight years of his NFL career prior to last season. Hopkins finished the 2021 season with career lows in catches (42) and receiving yards (572), but still led the Cardinals with a team-high eight receiving touchdowns.

“Injuries limited him to 10 games last season and he had a career-low 42 catches,” Prisco wrote. “He did have eight touchdown catches. Now in his ninth season, he has to stay healthy, especially since he’s already been suspended for the first six games.”

Grady Jarrett is also ranked in the 70s on Prisco’s list, with the former Tiger and current Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle checking in at No. 77.

During his NFL career so far, Jarrett has seen action in 110 games with 95 starts while totaling 359 tackles (198 solo), 26.5 sacks, 54 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 89 quarterback hits. He helped the Falcons to a Super Bowl appearance at the end of the 2016 season.

A two-time Pro Bowler, Jarrett signed a three-year contract extension with the Falcons this offseason and is entering his eighth season with the Falcons in 2022.

“On a bad team, he remains a bright spot,” Prisco wrote. “His ability to push the pocket and play the run make him one of the better inside players in the game.”

Deshaun Watson also made Prisco’s list at No. 83.

The former Clemson quarterback, of course, was traded to the Cleveland Browns in March from the Houston Texans, who received three first-round draft picks in return. The three-time Pro Bowler then got a new fully guaranteed five-year contract worth $230 million, setting a new record for the highest guarantee given to an NFL player.

The NFL recently reached a deal on a disciplinary settlement with Watson, agreeing to an 11-game suspension and $5 million fine for violations of the personal conduct policy.

Two other former Tigers — defensive tackle D.J. Reader of the Cincinnati Bengals and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow of the Las Vegas Raiders — were named among Prisco’s honorable mentions.

–Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images 

DJ Reader doesn’t appear happy about his Madden rating

One of the best in the game isn’t thrilled he’s being overlooked.

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It would appear star Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman DJ Reader isn’t too happy with his “Madden NFL 23” overall rating at the game’s launch.

EA Sports dropped the ratings for the top 10 defensive tackles on social media this week and Reader’s name didn’t make an appearance. He’s instead an 84 overall.

Reader then took to Twitter with a censored bit of cursing while tagging the game’s official Twitter account.

It’s unfortunate that Reader’s elite season went overlooked, but it’s not too surprising, either. He’s the big man in the middle who commands attention and lets others around him get one-on-ones and put up the flashy numbers like sacks. He’s also a major part of the reason linebackers like Logan Wilson broke out last year.

But Reader, a great 80.8 PFF grade last year or not as the heart of the defense, doesn’t put up those flashy stats that moves the needle in terms of video game ratings.

But like Ja’Marr Chase and other Bengals, it’s clear Reader will just use this perceived snub as an underdog-type motivation going into 2022.

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10 highest-paid defensive tackles in the NFL following Aaron Donald’s 3-year, $95M reworked deal

10 highest-paid defensive tackles in the NFL following Aaron Donald’s 3-year, $95M reworked deal with the Los Angeles Rams; Where Fletcher Cox lands

Aaron Donald is putting off retirement, as the Rams’ all-world defensive tackle is the highest paid non-quarterback in NFL history after agreeing to a restructured three-year, $95 million deal with $65 million guaranteed in the first two years.

Donald, 31, had 12.5 sacks during the 2021 NFL season, then logged 3.5 more in the playoffs during the Rams’ run to the Super Bowl, including the game clincher on the Bengals Joe Burrow.

In eight seasons, Donald has 98 sacks, eight Pro Bowl selections, and seven All-Pro selections as well.

With the future Hall of Famer continuing his career, here are the ten highest-paid defensive tackles in the NFL.

4 former Tigers ranked among NFL’s top interior defensive linemen

Pro Football Focus this week published its 2022 NFL interior defender rankings and tiers, and of the 25 players who made the list, four are former Clemson standout defensive linemen. Grady Jarrett of the Atlanta Falcons is the highest-ranked among …

Pro Football Focus this week published its 2022 NFL interior defender rankings and tiers, and of the 25 players who made the list, four are former Clemson standout defensive linemen.

Grady Jarrett of the Atlanta Falcons is the highest-ranked among the quartet of former Tigers, checking in at No. 5 overall in PFF’s rankings under the “Tier 2: Elite” interior defensive linemen.

Jarrett, who signed a three-year contract extension with the Falcons this offseason, completed his seventh season with the Falcons in 2021 after being selected by the franchise in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft (No. 137 overall). He has seen action in 110 games with 95 starts while totaling 359 tackles (198 solo), 26.5 sacks, 54 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 89 quarterback hits.

“Prior to 2021, Jarrett rattled off four straight years with 80.0-plus PFF grades with the Falcons and established himself as one of the best all-around interior defensive linemen in the NFL,” PFF’s Ben Linsey wrote. “Jarrett fell off slightly from that level in 2021, but he still profiles as Atlanta’s only defensive lineman who offenses have to worry about. Jarrett’s 93 quarterback pressures since 2020 are over 50 more than any other player on the Falcons’ roster.”

D.J. Reader of the Cincinnati Bengals is the next-highest-ranked former Tiger, coming in at No. 11 in PFF’s ranking under the “Tier 3: Very Good” interior D-linemen.

Reader started the Super Bowl for the Bengals this past February and registered a sack in the third quarter, the second postseason sack of his career. During the regular season, he was credited with 43 total tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and seven quarterback hits. In the playoffs, he added 12 tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack and four quarterback hits.

“Reader — a seventh-year, 347-pound defensive tackle out of Clemson — isn’t the flashiest player at the position,” Linsey wrote. “However, it’s hard not to notice the impact that a healthy Reader had on Cincinnati’s defense last season after he missed much of his first year with the team due to injury. Reader ranked in the 92nd percentile of all qualifying interior defensive linemen in PFF run-defense grade on a per-snap basis in 2021. That’s been a consistent theme throughout much of his career.”

Former Tiger Christian Wilkins of the Miami Dolphins is ranked right behind Reader at No. 12 in the same tier.

In late April, the Dolphins decided to pick up the fifth-year option on Wilkins, guaranteeing him a salary of $10.753 million for the 2023 season.

Wilkins, who has played in 47 games while making 43 starts during his three-year NFL career (2019-2021), has 192 tackles (17 for loss), eight sacks, an interception and three fumble recoveries to go with two catches for two touchdowns.

The 13th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft is coming off a career season last year, when he posted 89 total tackles, 4.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, four passes defended, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and a touchdown reception.

“The strides that Wilkins made in his third NFL season last year seemed to fly under the radar,” Linsey wrote. “Wilkins was one of the best run defenders at the position in 2021, but where he made the biggest stride was as a pass-rusher. The former first-round pick out of Clemson graded out in the 80th percentile on “true” pass rushes last season compared to the 29th percentile across his first two NFL seasons.”

The fourth former Clemson D-linemen to appear as one of PFF’s top interior defensive linemen is Dexter Lawrence at No. 19.

Lawrence, who had his fifth-year option picked up by the New York Giants in late April, was selected by the Giants with the 17th overall pick in 2019. He has played in 48 games across his first three seasons, starting 41 of them while recording 145 total tackles (81 solo), nine sacks, 14 tackles for loss, 30 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and five pass breakups in his career.

“Lawrence is a massive, 340-plus-pound presence on the interior who isn’t just a run stuffer,” Linsey wrote. “His 74.0 PFF pass-rushing grade in 2021 was the highest of his three-year career, as were his 43 quarterback pressures. Between Lawrence, Leonard Williams and young edge rushers such as Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari, New York is putting together an intriguing collection of talent along its defensive front.”

–Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images 

Congratulations! You did it! You graduated! Now is the time to preserve your diploma in a custom frame. Here at Clemson Variety & Frame, we build all our frames in-house – from the frame to the mats and etchings to the installation – to guarantee the quality. You worked hard for your degree. Trust us to show your diploma in the best light possible.

Just how hard did this former Tiger take the Bengals’ Super Bowl loss?

Just how hard did this former Clemson standout take the Cincinnati Bengals’ Super Bowl loss? Well, D.J. Reader typically talks to his mother every day and told reporters recently, referring to his mom, “That’s my dog.” But after Cincinnati’s 23-20 …

Just how hard did this former Clemson standout take the Cincinnati Bengals’ Super Bowl loss?

Well, D.J. Reader typically talks to his mother every day and told reporters recently, referring to his mom, “That’s my dog.”

But after Cincinnati’s 23-20 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13, the former Clemson and current Bengals defensive lineman didn’t talk to his mom for about a week.

“I take losses pretty hard, no matter what loss, and especially like when you get that close,” Reader said in a recent news conference. “So, I didn’t really talk to too many people. My mom knows how I am. So, I don’t think I talked to my agent for a month. I didn’t talk to my mom for probably like a week. Everybody was just kind of out for a little bit.”

Reader added that he and his mother are a lot alike, and she doesn’t try to talk to him after any loss. So, considering that, it makes sense that they didn’t speak for a while after a painful loss like the Bengals suffered in the Super Bowl, which came down to the wire and saw the Rams prevail when Aaron Donald pressured Joe Burrow on fourth-and-1 with 43 seconds left in the game, forcing an incomplete pass and turnover on downs.

“Me and her are very similar,” Reader said of his mom. “We don’t talk to each other after losses. But me and her really always talk about leaving it all out there on the field. That’s something her and my dad have always preached to me since I was a kid, just demeanor and how you play the game. If you leave it all out there on the field, you really don’t have anything to be ashamed about. You’re a natural competitor, you’re going to be pissed.”

Reader, who made Pro Football Focus’s ranking of the top 101 players from the 2021 NFL season, started the Super Bowl and registered a sack in the third quarter, the second postseason sack of his career.

Reader was asked if there is any particular play that has stuck with him when he reflects on the outcome of the Super Bowl.

“Not any particular play,” he said. “You always feel like, yourself, you could’ve done more. But if I go back and scan over the game, you can’t really say oh, one play killed us or this, that and the third killed us. It was a good game. It was a good game, and they came out on top.”

–Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images 

Congratulations! You did it! You graduated! Now is the time to preserve your diploma in a custom frame. Here at Clemson Variety & Frame, we build all our frames in-house – from the frame to the mats and etchings to the installation – to guarantee the quality. You worked hard for your degree. Trust us to show your diploma in the best light possible.

DJ Reader knows Bengals camp battles with La’El Collins will be tough

Reader’s looking forward to showdowns with the big new free-agent signing for the Bengals.

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Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle DJ Reader had high praise for new right tackle La’el Collins and is definitely to work alongside him.

But that doesn’t mean the entire experience is going to be all fun and games.

When the lines get together for drills, Reader may end up working against Collins and the nose tackle isn’t exactly jumping for joy.

“I’m not really looking forward to being a 3 technique and La’el coming down on that double team and pushing my hip or anything like that,” Williams said (H/T Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com). “But there’s a couple things I’m looking forward to. So I’m excited to get out there and compete.”

Competition breeds excellence, however, and these drills will only make both Collins and Reader better.

That a top-of-league nose tackle like Reader is already saying this about Collins says quite a bit about Joe Burrow’s new right tackle, too.

Training camp for the Bengals will certainly be quite a fun watch this summer as the Bengals look to patch up their problematic offensive line from 2021.

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