When the Bengals were taking it to the Falcons late in the preseason opener on Thursday night, spirits for the Cincinnati faithful had to be high. And, even though the end result had to bring a smile to the faces of Bengaldom, some somber moments occurred--namely in the form of injuries.
Late in the game, backup offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson went down with an ankle injury. Though we weren't sure how severe the injury was, it didn't look promising when he was carted off of the field. Though an official status hasn't been divulged, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said that he didn't think it was serious.
Lewis says Hawkinson injury doesn't appear serious— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) August 9, 2013
The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy gives us a less optimistic image when he reported what Hawkinson looked like in the locker room in postgame interviews.
Hawkinson on crutches in the locker room with his left ankle taped up— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) August 9, 2013
We are fairly certain that further tests and examinations will be done on Hawkinson's ankle to see the extent of the damage, though Lewis' proclamation eases some nerves. We'll know more for certain in the coming days.
Though he isn't a starter, Hawkinson has become a coaching staff favorite with his tenacity and versatility. If there's one thing that offensive line coach Paul Alexander likes out of his players, it's the ability to play a variety of spots on the line. Hawkinson flashed that ability early in camp, so hopefully Lewis' initial diagnosis is accurate.