Well, it was the worst-case scenario after all.
According to multiple reports, Bengals linebacker Emmanuel Lamur is lost for the season and headed to Injured Reserve. CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora and Mike Garafolo with FoxSports.com initially reported the story.
Lamur suffered the injury with over five minutes remaining in the first quarter. The shoulder popped out of socket after hitting Colts running back Donald Brown on third down. After the training staff looked at his shoulder for several minutes, he was carted off to the locker room where it was popped back. It appears to be a dislocation.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis told reporters after the game that "we'll see" how his shoulder responds. Cincinnati also conducted tests that may have indicated further damage.
Rookie Jayson DiManche recognizes the impact that Lamur's injury will have on the defense this year.
"E-Man can play any position and he's so smart; it's a big loss," DiManche said via Bengals.com. "I think I've got the SAM position down pretty much. It's basically just technique things I still have to learn a little bit. That will come in time. I stepped in behind E-Man. I wasn't nervous. I knew exactly what I had to do out there."
The injury upsets things on the 53-man roster because Lamur was projected as the team's starting linebacker in nickel and dime packages as the team's best coverage backer. With Lamur likely headed to Injured Reserve, it opens the door for a sixth linebacker. Inside backer J.K. Schaffer is probably that man initially (for the purposes of the 53-man roster by Saturday's deadline), but the Bengals will probably check the waiver wire and free agency this weekend for a suitable coverage backer in passing situations. Some have dusted off Thomas Howard's name, though he hasn't found work and questions remain about his knee.
Once he's officially on IR, Lamur will become the fourth Bengals player on injured reserve following defensive tackle Larry Black and linebackers Brandon Joiner and Sean Porter.