Top-Ten Keys To A Successful Bengals Season: No.2 Avoiding Injuries

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

We conclude the top-ten keys list with the top two on the countdown. At No.2 comes something that really isn't in the team's control--they need to stay healthy.

We took a bit of hiatus from this list because of all of the news with Training Camp and preseason, but as all of that is coming to a close, so must this countdown. At No.2 comes something that a team really can't control--injuries. We know that this team is deep, but a couple of injuries here and there and the entire season could change.

As it currently stands, the Bengals have sustained a few injuries, but nothing that they can't overcome. Initially, it appeared that one of the few injuries that they wouldn't be able to get past happened on the first day of camp. A.J. Green tweaked his knee and was out for a couple of weeks. Needless to say, the team dodged a big bullet there.

There have been some serious ones after Green's scare. As we saw on "Hard Knocks", backup defensive tackle Larry Black, Jr. suffered a season-ending ankle injury and fourth round pick Sean Porter looks to be missing time with an injury. The biggest loss though to this point is with wide receiver, Andrew Hawkins. He suffered an unfortunate ankle injury in practice and it's unknown when he will return.

These are things that most fans already knew though. Most have been touting this team as one of the deepest in franchise history. If you assume that's true, this team will be better equipped to handle other injuries that are bound to happen. Still, there are a couple of key players that this team can't afford to lose. Many of the names are known: Andy Dalton, Geno Atkins and Green. One could also make the argument that Michael Johnson, Carlos Dunlap, Vontaze Burfict, Jermaine Gresham, Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard also fall into this category. We probably wouldn't argue.

One could file this installment of this list under "obvious". However, we have seen this team stumble through seasons using the excuse/reasoning that they were tops among NFL teams with the amount of players on Injured Reserve. Again, this team seems to be able to get through some of the potential injuries that they could face, but one or two others that hit them in major areas could lead to a highly-disappointing year.

So, knock on wood, avoid ladders and black cats--whatever you have to do. Just hope that No.2 on our top-ten list comes to fruition and this team remains healthy.

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