Cincinnati's second-round draft pick, linebacker Rey Maualuga, has 63 tackles and three forced fumbles on the season. During Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Maualuga had five tackles well before half time. He was a wrecking machine, recording two tackles on the Chiefs second offensive possession -- the second tackle being on a third-and-one rush by Jamaal Charles, single-handedly forcing Kansas City to punt.
Unfortunately, he won't be able to add to his tackle total this year. During Sunday's game, Maualuga was carted off. It looked bad from the start, even though you watched the replay and saw no noticeable hit that would cause a major injury. Even so, Maualuga limped off the field and found his way to the bench with some help from the training staff, who checked out his left leg.
It was later reported that Maualuga suffered a fractured ankle. He's already officially out for the regular season finale against the New York Jets. And it's unlikely he'll be able to play during the Wild Card weekend, if not the Divisional and Championship rounds.
But you know Rey. He's not giving up just yet.
"Bengals nation, I may be hurt but this injury aint gonna stop me from doin wat I love!! Ima do everythn n my power to get back!"
Tank Johnson thinks the injury will hurt the defense, but thinks that Jeanty is "just as good as Rey".
Rashad Jeanty might be the smartest football player that I have ever been around. He loves football, and he plays it with a tremendous passion. I’m excited to see him get a chance to get out on the field. I see him at practice every day, and for him to get on the field, I’m happy for him, because he is just as good as Rey.”
Jeanty was the projected starter during Training Camp when Maualuga won the job.