The Cincinnati Bengals hit the field on Wednesday for their first practice of the week in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Adam Jones participated in the Wednesday practice again this week. We will see if he is trending toward playing against the Colts based on if he practices at all the rest of the week.
#Bengals corner Adam Jones (back) practicing today - like Wed of last week. We’ll see how limited he was or if he can go tomorrow.— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) October 25, 2017
Jones sustained a back injury when the team played against the Bills in Week 5. The team then had a bye during Week 6. Jones began the week as a limited participant on Wednesday last week, but he failed to practice at all the rest of the week. This caused him to miss the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
It was considered a huge blow to the Bengals’ secondary as Jones has done so well against Antonio Brown for the past few seasons. Brown had one touchdown on Sunday, but he failed to record over 100 yards receiving, just like he had in the past four games against the Bengals. It seemed like early in the game it would play out in Brown’s favor as he caught a touchdown on the first drive.
However, the Steelers eventually tried to test William Jackson, who is playing significant amounts this year first season after missing all of his rookie season Jackson aced the test with flying colors. He even held Brown without a reception when the second-year corner was covering him. He had three pass breakups against the pro bowl receiver. They would’ve been huge plays if the Bengals’ offense did anything in the second half.
Even if Jones returns this week it will be interesting to see what the Bengals do. William Jackson has played extremely well when given the opportunity.
This seems like the perfect time to integrate the young talented corner into the offense, and let Jones settle a little bit further down the depth chart. It would also open Jones up to return more punts. Still the Bengals haven’t been making the seemingly correct choices when it comes to player personnel as of late, so we shouldn’t be surprised with whatever they decide to do.
Other injured players....
John Ross was also a participant in practice on Wednesday. It is looking like we could possibly see him return to the field if manages to have a full week’s worth of practice, and considering how the offense has been playing, it could use Ross to possibly give it a spark. The last time we saw Ross was when he was benched during the team’s Week 2 game against Houston for fumbling.
Tyler Boyd, Ryan Hewitt and Kevin Minter were the only Bengals not participating in practice on Wednesday.
Minter left Sunday’s game against the Steelers early with an elbow injury. He was unable to return. The fear was that it would be a significant injury when it happened based off of how quickly the Bengals ruled him out of the game, but Marvin Lewis said the linebacker is doing well and he will be able to recover this season. He didn’t give a specific time frame though.
Minter joined the Bengals this offseason on a one-year deal, and he has been solid for the team. ALthough he hasn’t seen the field very often. Minter was only on the field when the Bengals ran their base 4-3 defense, but the team is often in their nickel defense where Nick Vigil and Vontaze Burfict dominate the playing time. Even during Burfict’s suspension Vincent Rey filled that role.
Minter saw his most playing time against the Bills who are known for running the ball early and often, and based on how much Rey played after Minter’s injury, He probably would’ve played a lot against the Steelers as well.
Without Minter the team will rely more on Rey in those situations, and we may have more of a chance of seeing Jordan Evans. Evans was the Bengals’ sixth round pick from this year’s draft, but he impressed during the preseason.
Either way Minter’s absence could leave a pretty big hole in the defense when teams decide to run against the Bengals.