The tricks and treats came a couple of weeks early on Sunday in Detroit in a wild game that resulted in a 27-24 win for the Bengals against the Lions. In the ups and downs that ensued over three and a half hours, the lowest moment occurred at an early point in the game when cornerback Leon Hall went down with yet another Achilles injury. Unfortunately, it appears that Hall will be gone for the rest of the 2013 season, leaving the Bengals defense short-handed.
Also unfortunate is the fact that this isn't the first trip to Detroit where the Bengals lost important players to injury. We know about the long list of guys who got dinged up outside of Hall on Sunday, but history is not on the Bengals side in the Motor City. Though the two teams rarely face-off with each other in the regular season (usually once every four years), Cincinnati and Detroit almost annually see each other in the preseason.
In 1995, the Bengals had high hopes for rookie running back, Ki-Jana Carter. After trading up with the Carolina Panthers for the No.1 overall pick, Carter signed a then-rookie-record five-year, $19.2 million deal--complete with a $7.125 million signing bonus. The Bengals traveled to Detroit in the preseason and on his third carry as a rookie, Carter tore his ACL and missed the 1995 season.
A combination of the old astroturf compared to today's "field turf", as well as medicine not having the advancements that we have now almost twenty years later spelled doom for Carter. He was never the same back again and it put the Bengals behind for another handful of years. The incident in Detroit kicked off a number of other ailments that plagued Carter's career.
In 2007, the Bengals once again traveled to Detroit in the preseason. Armed with 2004 first round pick Chris Perry, aging veteran Rudi Johnson and rookie second round pick Kenny Irons, the Bengals hoped that their running game would have a revitalization. In the second quarter of Irons' first preseason game, he tore the ACL ligament in his knee and his season was done. Unfortunately for Irons, he was never able to recover from the injury and was waived by Cincinnati the next season. He never played in the NFL again.
Sadly, I don't really have a moral of the story here other than taking a painful stroll down memory lane. Hall came back from this type of surgery before, so we must all remain hopeful that he can make a speedy recovery. In the meantime, the Bengals might just want to avoid playing in Detroit at all costs.