The Cincinnati Bengals can’t catch a break with injuries/suspensions to linebackers this season.
Ever since Vontaze Burfict was suspended for the first three games, the Bengals have rarely had all of their linebackers on the field together. Once Burfict returned, Kevin Minter was soon lost to an elbow injury that kept him out for over a month.
Then after Minter returned, Vincent Rey went down with a hamstring injury that kept him out in Week 12. The latest starting back to go down is Nick Vigil, who went down with an ankle injury in the team’s Week 12 win over the Cleveland Browns.
According to ESPN’s Katherine Terrell, Vigil was seen in a walking boot on Monday, a bad sign for his availability in Week 13.
Bengals LB Nick Vigil was wearing a walking boot during open locker room yesterday and limping after injuring his ankle on Sunday.— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) November 28, 2017
It happened near the end of the first half with Vigil attempting to make a tackle but injured his ankle and hit the deck. After being examined by trainers, Vigil was able to hobble toward the sideline before heading toward the locker room.
The team announced his return as questionable before he was later ruled out.
If Vigil is out in Week 13 versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, it will be interesting to see how the Bengals handle the strongside linebacker. Jordan Evans may take over since Vincent Rey is sidelined right now with a hamstring injury.
The Bengals do primarily operate out of the nickel defense, so having two linebackers is something they’re plenty accustomed to. Still, you’d like to have everyone on deck when the Steelers’ explosive offense comes to town.