UPDATE: Cody Core has a dislocated finger and should be fine to play in Thursday night’s second preseason game in Detroit against the Lions.
Rookie wide receiver Cody Core went leaping for an Andy Dalton pass over the middle and apparently dislocated a finger as he was exhaling in pain while running back up field and checking with the trainers. He didn’t return but he should be able to play Thursday night.
The Bengals can't seem to catch a break on the injury front, which is starting to hit hard at wide receiver.
The latest comes as rookie receiver Cody Core left Monday's practice early with what appeared to be a hand injury. Core was going up for a pass in drills and had the ball go off his hands before immediately grabbing his right hand. He eventually left with a trainer and headed toward the facilities.
This comes after Core finished Friday’s preseason opener with three catches for 33 yards. The Bengals were already without Mario Alford (ankle) and Jake Kumerow (hamstring) during Monday’s practice as receivers are starting to experience bumps and bruises at an uncomfortable rate.
It's too soon to say what happened, but these types of situations often involve a jammed finger. Core may have been going up for a pass and had the ball hit one of his fingers with enough force to sprain or even dislocate it, but that is merely speculation at this point.
Core is locked into a roster spot and was vying for the Bengals’ No. 4 receiver role. The performance Core had in camp and the first preseason game combined have made him one of the biggest surprises of Bengals training camp.
Core was selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Ole Miss. Viewed as more of a raw developmental prospect with good upside, Core progressed quicker than most expected to the point where he's actually looked as good as starting boundary receiver Brandon LaFell in camp.
If Core keeps that up into the regular season, it's not crazy to think he may actually start a game or two in his rookie year. That obviously won't happen if he's injured. We'll keep you posted on this situation as more details become available.