Last night on Inside The Jungle, we discussed which position group would affect the Bengals most if a player was lost to injury. For me, it was an easy answer, quarterback. I know there are pockets of you out there who think that even with zero NFL experience, AJ McCarron could step in and handle the load at least as well as Andy Dalton. Others claim the answer to the Bengals' quarterback position questions was answered with the signing of Terrell Pryor. I disagree with both of these thoughts and think no other position loss would hurt as much.
So which group comes in second?
The Bengals may being playing this scenario out this season. There is a huge question mark around the return of star linebacker, Vontaze Burfict. We watched last season as the position was decimated with injuries and the Bengals defense struggled to maintain the tenacity on the defensive side of the football. The Bengals currently have Rey Maualuga, Emmanuel Lamur, Vincent Rey and a handful of potential and question marks at the position. Could they really afford to not have Burfict for this season or worse, lose someone else?
The Bengals struggled late in the season to pass the ball. A.J. Green was missing from the wild card game and Marvin Jones didn't play the entire season. At times we saw Mohamed Sanu step up, but his production was not consistent. If the Bengals were to lose a top player at this position, would the offense fail to move the ball through the air?
Tyler Eifert is carrying a heavy load this season, as this is the first time he won't have lightning rod, Jermaine Gresham to help him at the position. This may be a lot to ask for a guy who has injury issues of his own. Did the Bengals show their concern at the position when they dipped into the tight end pool at the draft multiple times? If the Bengals lose Eifert, would the offense as a whole be able to recover?
The story is always how much talent the Bengals have in the secondary, yet the young guys have not been able to or allowed to carry the load. If the Bengals were to lose one of their veterans at the position, is the talent behind them on the roster to carry the load? We want to see what Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard can do, but are we confident they could handle the full time load?
Share your thoughts on which group would affect the Bengals most if there was an injury. Also, leave a comment if you think I am off base on my take on the quarterback position.