The Bengals' offensive line was a mess Monday night against the Buccaneers, and part of that can be attributed to right tackle Andre Smith being held out of the game.
Smith missed the game with what was an unknown injury at the time, which also caused him to miss the first preseason game vs the Giants. He's been occasionally held out of practice too, though many assumed it was just a veteran's rest day he was receiving.
Now we know Smith is dealing with a foot injury that's been nagging him for much of camp and through the preseason, according to Paul Dehner at the Cincinnati Enquirer. This is a bit of a concern if it's the same foot that plagued Smith in each of his first two seasons in the NFL when he was also dealing with weight issues.
After being the No. 6 pick in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Alabama, Smith would suffer foot injuries that cost him 19 games during his first two seasons with the Bengals. He's since missed only nine games during the past four seasons, but did miss seven games last year with a torn triceps muscle.
All of this is not a good sign for Smith as he enters a contract year. He's already been shafted from free agency in 2013 when no one wanted to pay him what he was requesting. That led to the Bengals getting him back on a team-friendly three-year, $18-million deal, following a 2012 season where he finished as the No. 4 offensive tackle by Pro Football Focus.
At this point, it's hard to see anyone throwing a big contract Smith's way in 2016 unless he has a standout 2015 season. He's already off to a slow start, but still has two weeks to get healthy for the regular season.