With 13:17 remaining in the first quarter Thursday night, quarterback Andy Dalton pitched the football to Cedric Benson on a sweeping run outside. Tight end Bo Scaife, firing from his three-point stance on the left, made contact with a Carolina Panthers defender for the block. It was odd. As soon Scaife made contact, he dropped to the surface as if taking an uppercut in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out for the original NES. It didn't appear he suffered a head or spinal injury and nothing happened around his legs. He just dropped.
Scaife eventually left the game with a shoulder injury and immediate conjecture arose that he could be out of the season. Before the team declared anything, Scaife sought the advice of specialists to judge the severity of the injury and "determine his best course of action." That's still going on (though with our karma, this will actually be settled within an hour of this posting going online).
Scaife signed a one-year deal worth $1 million with the Bengals in early August, establishing competition for every tight end position behind starter Jermaine Gresham. Originally the thought was Chase Coffman and Scaife would complete the tight end roster until undrafted free agent Colin Cochart impressed coaches so much that any certainty predicting the position's roster broke down.
"(Cochart) has made it very competitive for Chase, and we’ve had John for about (three) weeks so we’ve got to see where we’re at," said tight ends coach Jon Hayes. "They’ll get a ton of playing time this week and we’ll find out."
However you have to wonder now with Scaife's injury, is the position set with Gresham, Coffman and Cochart. It's just a matter of learning that before you can really judge how the Bengals roster will look.
In the meantime with Jermaine Gresham dealing with an ankle injury (he could still play with the starters), Coffman and Cochart figure to get plenty of playing time Thursday night.