You'll have your bumps and bruises in most NFL games. In fact, many people say that when teams avoid major injuries, they're simply luck. And the avoidance of major injury is often credited for a team's season long success.
While beating the favored Baltimore Ravens 17-7 to complete a season sweep, the Bengals suffered their share of injuries that won't be cured with a pack of ice and rubbing dirt on the wound.
Chris Henry suffered a broken forearm on a 20-yard reception with 14:13 left in the second quarter. When asked if the injury is season-ending, head coach Marvin Lewis said “I don’t know that.” On the Bengals second possession, with 6:49 left in the first quarter, Evan Mathis injured an ankle and gingerly walked to the lockerroom. He didn't return. Johnathan Joseph and Robert Geathers were injured and missed a few snaps, but later returned. In Geathers case, he recorded a late fourth quarter sack that forced the Ravens to go for it on third-and-19 with 2:16 left in the game.
Keith Rivers left the game early in the third quarter after a Kevin Huber punt. Listed as out with a calf injury, Rivers didn't return. The Bengals tweet that Rivers left Paul Brown stadium on crutches, but an MRI says that it's not a season-ending injury. A more optimistic view is that he returns next week. But why? Brandon Johnson filled in for Rivers, recorded 1.5 sacks and finished with five tackles. If it takes time, then take it. The win over Baltimore actually gives the Bengals breathing room for at least a wild card spot. Then again, Johnson isn't much of a downgrade from Rivers.
Luckily this team has enough depth at most positions to supplement injuries. For example, when Mathis left, the Bengals were able to insert Nate Livings. Did you notice the change? As things go, if you don't notice the offensive line, then they're doing great. When Rivers left, Johnson only had a frickin' awesome second half.
We should learn more about Mathis and Rivers later this week.