Though the Bengals have avoided the devastating injury bug (knock on wood), there is one lengthy-looking injury that is hanging over the team's head. Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins suffered a significant ankle sprain in a Training Camp practice diving for a ball when a defender stepped on him. The Bengals haven't been exactly forthright on the extent of damage done to Hawkins' ankle, but he has been in a cast since the injury and has been proclaimed out for the rest of the preseason.
According to Bengals.com editor Geoff Hobson, Hawkins will have his ankle remain casted for the next few weeks.
Hawkins going to be in boot or cast for next few weeks— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) August 20, 2013
"Few weeks" can mean a multitude of different things, in regards to Hawkins' return to the lineup. Again, we still believe that he will be shelved for the rest of the preseason and it sounds like his ankle will be casted for the remaining couple of weeks. Depending on how it heals, the Bengals may keep Hawkins on the final roster and have him out for the first couple of games.
The worst-case scenario, and starting to look like the likeliest, is that Hawkins will be designated as the player to return from Injured Reserve. This would keep him out for the first six weeks of the season and then the Bengals would have a decision to make on whether to shelve him on IR for season, waive him (unlikely), or place him on the 53-man roster from there.