Maualuga was at facility on Tues but didn't practice. Guenther indicated it wasn't injury related https://t.co/vn0XM936xM— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) November 10, 2016
This is an odd situation to say the least. Maualuga injured his arm during the team’s Week 8 tie with Washington, but after trainers examined it in the first half, he eventually re-entered and finished the game.
This leg injury could be something new he’s dealing with, perhaps even something he suffered in a workout or practice since Week 8. Or, maybe Maualuga suffered the injury vs Washington, but was able to play through it and finish the game before it got worse.
It’s also possible that Maualuga has been playing with an injury for several weeks now, which would explain his horrific level of play on the field in recent weeks. Entering Week 10, Maualuga is Pro Football Focus’ 84th-ranked linebacker out of 87 eligible players.
Whatever the issue is, with Maualuga missing Tuesday’s practice and now being held out Thursday, too, it’s safe to say he’s very questionable to play on Monday night. If he is held out, rookie linebacker Nick Vigil could be in for more playing time. Vigil has been limited to special teams thus far, but Maualuga being out could lead to the third-round pick out of Utah State getting more defensive snaps.
It’s also possible, and probably more likely, that the Bengals would just give more snaps to veterans Karlos Dansby, Vinny Rey and Vontaze Burfict. Those three have been getting the bulk of the linebacker snaps this year, even so much that Maualuga has played limited snaps in several games this year. In total, Maualuga has played 224 snaps this season.
We will keep you posted as more details on Maualuga’s injury become available.
We now know Maualuga is dealing with a fibula injury and could be out for more than just one week. Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson went as far as to say he doesn’t “know what the future holds for Maualuga" when on Lance McAlister's radio show on 700 WLW on Thursday night.