NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that the Bengals told Dunlap to stay home rather than come to work as the team sorts out his future, per sources informed of the situation.
Rapoport reported over the weekend that Cincinnati has had active talks surrounding Dunlap, with both sides desiring a new beginning. Those talks will continue.
Keeping Dunlap out of the building is the first step toward Cincinnati jettisoning the veteran one way or another.
The 31-year-old edge rusher has been disgruntled in recent weeks due to his role in the Bengals defense under coordinator Lou Anarumo. Last weekend, Dunlap posted a since-deleted picture on Instagram showing himself third on the depth chart. In Sunday’s loss to Cleveland, Dunlap played just 11 defensive snaps, his fewest of the season.
During the game, the veteran was seen arguing with assistants on the sideline. Dunlap has seen his snaps cut in half since Week 5. The past three games, the edge rusher has played just 66 total snaps after getting 71 in Week 3.
The next step is for the Bengals to move on from their former Pro Bowl edge rusher, who has spent his entire career in Cincinnati. In those 11 seasons, Dunlap generated 82.5 sacks and 490 total tackles. In seven games in 2020, he has one sack and 18 tackles.