JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 09: Manny Lawson #99 of the Cincinnati Bengals reacts after breaking up a pass intended for Marcedes Lewis #89 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during play at EverBank Field on October 9, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. Cincinnati won 30-20. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
And it continues. The Bengals had another starting player go down with an injury, adding to the multitude of others that they've accrued this preseason. Starting strong side linebacker, Manny Lawson, left late in the first half of the game against the Packers with a groin injury. It's unclear how serious the injury is at this point.
When Marvin Lewis was asked about the injury after the game, he did his usual "play it close to the vest" evading of the question:
"He had a muscle pull. I don’t know how severe it is."
Lawson, though is rotated in and out of the lineup often, is a valuable member of the defense. Not only did he start for the unit on last year's No.7 overall defense, but he is a versatile player as well. He has made a successful transition to a 4-3 outside linebacker and also will put his hand on the ground and rush the passer on occasion.
The team can ill-afford any other injuries to starters. Lawson, defensive end Carlos Dunlap, middle linebacker Rey Maualuga, tight end Jermaine Gresham, guard Travelle Wharton and running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis are all fighting injuries right now. Beyond that, a slew of key role players are on the mend, including: cornerbacks Adam Jones, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Jason Allen, running back Bernard Scott, defensive end Robert Geathers and defensive tackle Pat Sims.
It's very possible that the team is just practicing extreme caution to get these players back as soon as possible, but they need to start avoiding the injury bug and getting some of these players back healthy.