Cincinnati's loss to the Miami Dolphins last week was highlighted by an unusual amount of injuries suffered in the defensive secondary. After Adam Jones was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve, the team's secondary went from a strength to a depleted unit of purple heart recipients.
For the second week in a row, Johnathan Joseph missed a game with an injured ankle. Roy Williams' injured knee has knocked him out since Cincinnati's 20-23 loss to the Cleveland Browns on October 3. The guy that replaced him at strong safety, Chinedum Ndukwe, dealing with a bum knee, missed last week's game against the Miami Dolphins who was in turn replaced by the backup free safety Reggie Nelson.
Leon Hall and Morgan Trent, the team's starting cornerbacks against the Dolphins, each missed two practices leading up to the Bengals 22-14 loss last Sunday.
Even though the Bengals passing defense was stable, relatively speaking compared to the team's other units, the secondary needs to get healthy quickly with games against Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers on the horizon.
And they are. Johnathan Joseph is expected to return in a rival meeting against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football while safeties Chinedum Ndukwe and Roy Williams have returned to practice. With one of the league's best cornerbacks returning, along with two run-stopping safeties, the Bengals defense may finally be able to power through the rest of the schedule.