Sports

Bengals' defense better lately, but will have to get along without Burfict for next 2 games

FILE - In this Aug. 24, 2014, file photo, Cincinnati Bengals' Vontaze Burfict stretches out with teammates prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. Burfict had surgery to clean out his left knee on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014,  and will miss at least the next two games. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 24, 2014, file photo, Cincinnati Bengals' Vontaze Burfict stretches out with teammates prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. Burfict had surgery to clean out his left knee on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, and will miss at least the next two games. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Bengals' defense finally got its act together after three rough weeks, holding down Baltimore just enough to pull out a pivotal win. The challenge is to keep it going without Cincinnati's best defensive player.

Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict had surgery on his left knee on Wednesday and will miss at least the next two games. The Bengals (4-2-1) host Jacksonville (1-7) on Sunday, then play the Browns at Paul Brown Stadium on Thursday night.

Burfict also has missed two games with concussions. Coordinator Paul Guenther says the defense is much better when he's on the field.

The defense also is missing linebacker Rey Maualuga, who is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury.

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