The biggest win in the preseason is to come into the regular season without any significant injuries. Well, it looks like the Bengals may have lost more than the game to the Cowboys. Brian Leonard's injury is now being called "significant" and could possibly sideline Leonard for the entire season.
Brian Leonard suffered a significant foot injury in Sunday’s 16-7 loss to Dallas in the Hall of Fame Game. He will visit a specialist today after undergoing tests on Monday in Cincinnati. The injury was initially diagnosed as a mid-foot sprain, but there was limited equipment at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium. The diagnosis ranges anywhere from Leonard missing the rest of the preseason to being out for the year.
That leaves Joe Tronzo as the only healthy full back right now since Fui Vakapuna is sidelined due to a shoulder injury. Not only that but that also means that the Bengals lose their very versatile third-down back who made some huge plays in some big games last season. That leaves the Bengals depth chart at running back fairly thin.
Said Carson Palmer of Leonard’s second-quarter injury after the game: "I’m very concerned. He’s a big-time player for us and we have a lot of things built in specifically for him. So the quicker he gets back the better."
Hopefully, we hear soon that Leonard's foot will be just fine and he'll be back on the field for the regular season. That would be great. Unfortunately, I'm realistic enough to know that a foot injury for a running back can be bad news. They tend to linger.
So, if the Bengals are in need of a new third-down back and Leonard gets bad news, who is out there to pick up. Well the first name that comes to mind is Brian Westbrook or maybe Kevin Faulk. There are a few guys out there that could fill Leonard's shoes.
If Leonard does get bad news, we'll likely see a new running back in a Bengals uniform by the end of the week.