Patriots getting some help from NFL?


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Last year, the Bengals showed real progress in becoming viable as a defense. And after talking to Marvin Lewis back in July (as part of a now-archived Sunday NFL Notes), it seemed as if the coach saw some of the same things he did in 1999 as Baltimore defensive coordinator.

The Ravens became an epic defense in 2000, and Lewis is hoping that the Bengals can make that kind of leap in 2010. Part of that is predicated on the fact that Antwan Odom, Keith Rivers and Rey Maualuga return from injury.

Or so we thought.

Pro Football Talk and a blog called Three-Way Chili (love Cincinnati chili) are reporting that Odom is facing a four-game suspension as a result of a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Odom, you’ll remember, had eight sacks in six games before popping his Achilles last October.

Chances are, as Mike Florio points out at PFT, the case will still be under review when the season kicks off Sunday. But we’ll certainly be monitoring this one in relation to the game as we get closer to then.

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