The Bengals may have suffered a setback with starting right tackle Andre Smith's injured left ankle. After sustaining the injury in a Week 9 win over the Jaguars, Smith missed the Week 10 loss to the Browns, but was back on the field Wednesday for the first pre-Saints practice.
However, Smith was in a walking boot Thursday after only practicing in a limited capacity Wednesday. He was also in a walking boot last week after the Jacksonville game, so it appears he may have either suffered a setback on Wednesday, or the team just feels he isn't ready and wanted him back in the boot for precautionary reasons.
Either way, this isn't a good sign for Smith and his chances of playing Sunday vs. the Saints. Smith's absence could leave Marshall Newhouse to start at right tackle this week. In case you forgot, he just had one of the worst games a right tackle could possibly have vs. Cleveland, as evidenced by his -6.6 grade by Pro Football Focus.
Breakdown: No real surprise here as Newhouse had his typical game, struggling pass protection and forcing the team to adjust by giving him extra help. That left center Russell Bodine in some unfavorable matchups, but such was the mismatch of Newhouse versus any Browns pass rusher, it had to be done.
Signature Play: He may have expected help from his right guard, but there’s no excuse for getting beat as quickly off the snap as Newhouse did with 11.36 to go in Q3. Bryant went past him as if he wasn’t there on his way to the first of back to back sacks.