If you ask ten Bengals fans, most will agree that Brian Leonard is awesome. No, he's not the work horse that's Cedric Benson, nor is he the scat speed with Bernard Scott's speed. Leonard is just awesome. Leading all Bengals running backs with 30 receptions and 217 yards receiving, Leonard also recorded 19 third down receptions and even caught a direct snap on a punt, converting it for a first down against Denver. He converted a fourth-and-ten on the Bengals game-winning drive against the Pittsburgh Steelers by diving over the first down marker and recording a two-point conversion on a reception later that drive.
Leonard is awesome.
However, not awesome, is that Leonard's injury has caused some unrest at the team's running back position. With Leonard going through tests, the Bengals had to sign James Johnson on Tuesday after Cordera Eason suffered an injury in the same game. They were running out of bodies. Eason was put on Waived/Injured list and if he passes through waivers, he goes to the team's Injured Reserve.
That being said, there's optimism that Leonard's injury is far less severe than what was projected earlier in the week.
Preliminary indications from the exams for third-down back Brian Leonard’s injured foot looked to be promising although incomplete. It doesn’t look like he’ll need surgery and the hope is he’ll miss only the first couple of games of the regular season. But that apparently isn’t definitive and the club will have to see how he responds in the next few weeks.
Head coach Marvin Lewis wasn't (particularly helpful), maybe because nobody knows for sure.
"He's doing well," Lewis said when asked for an update.
When could Leonard be back?
"He's doing well," Lewis said.
While we're not saying that Leonard will be back tomorrow, the good news seems to be that his outlook appears much more brighter than it did earlier, giving you the feeling that there's some hope that the team's third-down ace could return a few weeks, or maybe a month, into the season.