The Bengals got mostly bad news on the injury front coming out of their 16-12 loss to the Bills.
During the team’s Monday meeting with the media, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed that running back Giovani Bernard suffered a torn ACL.
Marvin Lewis confirms Giovani Bernard has torn ACL. Looking at options now and will likely have surgery.— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) November 21, 2016
It looks like this will eventually lead to Bernard going on I.R. and having surgery to repair the damage. He suffered the injury toward the end of Sunday’s gut-wrenching defeat to Buffalo, which puts them at 3-6-1 entering their final seven games.
However, it looks like the Bengals did get some good news on the injury front coming out of Sunday’s disaster. All-Pro receiver A.J. Green’s hamstring injury is not as serious as originally thought, at least that’s what the Bengals are saying.
Marvin Lewis on AJ Green: Strained hamstring. Definitely out this coming Sunday. Wouldn't say length of time he might miss.— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) November 21, 2016
Marvin: "Oh yeah...I think (A.J. Green) will be back by the end of the year." Said Green is up and moving around better today than expected.— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) November 21, 2016
We always have to take what the Bengals are saying with a grain a salt, but NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport is reporting the same, so maybe Green really could be back before the season ends.
#Bengals got some good news on WR AJ Green. Source says he’s probably out a few weeks. No surgery. Calling it a strain (small tear).— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 21, 2016
If this is true and Green only has a strain, it’s possible he’s back as early as Week 13 vs the Eagles. Week 14 vs the Browns is probably more realistic. If Cincinnati can come out of the next three games with just two games, they should mathematically still be in the AFC North hunt.
Earlier Monday, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said that Dre Kirkpatrick did not suffer a serious knee injury during Sunday’s loss.
Paul Guenther on Dre Kirkpatrick's knee injury: "He's here. He's fine. He'll be ready to go." #Bengals— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) November 21, 2016
Per Bengals.com, Kirkpatrick says it is 50-50 whether he plays against the Ravens on Sunday.
That is great news for the cornerback, who is coming off one of his best stretches in Bengals stripes, which has seen him make highlight-reel interceptions in back-to-back games.
His latest pick came off of Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor at the 1-yard line. That was a huge play and ultimately kept the Bengals within striking distance until the very end.
It would have been devastating to see Kirkpatrick seriously injured near the end of his contract year, but it looks like he’ll be able to finish it out and go into free agency healthy as one of the top corners available if Cincinnati doesn’t re-sign him.