RESET: Looking at injuries heading into Atlanta

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

We take a look at some of the injuries impacting starters and significant role players against the Falcons next week.

Every so often we'll fire a fastball of posts through the river that we'll need to reset a couple of things; not only for you, but ourselves as well. Information can be chaotic from now until the offseason and we need a "here's what's going on" type of post to assist in organizing the information. Usually these will come in the form of rapid updates, but sometimes they get long-winded (you know me).

+ Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green and Andrew Whitworth aren't expected to suit up for Thursday's preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons. Green is recovering from a bruised knee. The gameplan for Whitworth, who had offseason knee surgery, is to take it slow so that he's ready for the regular season opener in Chicago. Whitworth participated in a handful of practices before sitting out on Sunday to gauge tolerance levels and to see how his knee responded. According to most reports, he's fine but needs time to continue exercises designed to strengthen his knee. A greater concern for Whitworth if he sits out for the majority of this month, will be his stamina.

+ Let's go ahead and add Andre Smith, Carlos Dunlap, and Andrew Hawkins to that list. If reports are accurate that Smith didn't practice on Friday, then there isn't much time for Smith to get prepared for the Falcons. Considering that their practices in Atlanta won't have any live sessions, that the players have an off-day on Saturday and a limited one-hour session on Sunday, Smith is well behind schedule. He's only participated in three sessions since being activated on Monday. Despite looking "in-shape" or whatever phrase that's being thrown around that deflects concerns about his weight, Smith isn't in football shape yet.

There's no known time line for Dunlap's return, currently undergoing NFL concussions protocols. We wouldn't be surprised if the team sat Dunlap out for the entire preseason. Nor would we be surprised if he returns the following Monday after the preseason opener. There's too much uncertainty with concussions.

Andrew Hawkins recently suffered a high-ankle sprain and he may even miss time in the regular season. On a personal note, the news, comments, and timing of the updates reminds me of Kyle Cook's injury. But that might be concluding (or at the very least connecting) something without much information to deflect that mind-set. And there's no certainty that Marvin Jones will play Thursday, though nothing is known about why he didn't participate during Friday's session. According to reports, he looked good running on the sidelines and may yet play against Atlanta.

Based on the team's depth chart, which really means squat in early August, Anthony Collins and Dennis Roland will likely start against the Falcons at left and right tackle respectively. With Green and Hawkins out, look for a first-team duo of Mohamed Sanu and Jones, with Brandon Tate and Ryan Whalen rotating in as the third receiver. Don't be surprised if Dane Sanzenbacher and Cobi Hamilton have a handful of early reps this Thursday.

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