The Cincinnati Bengals completed their preseason opener without any major injury scares, at least on the surface.
One of the biggest goals in any type of live football action in the preseason is to simply get through it without incurring injuries. Initially, it looked as though Cincinnati did this in Friday's 23-12 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
However, Cody Core may have gotten nicked up. During the postgame locker room session, Core was seen with his ankle wrapped and crutches by his locker, according to Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson.
Core himself didn't seem to think anything was wrong, saying, “I’m OK, I’ll be back.” That would seem to indicate it’s nothing serious and the Bengals are just being cautious by wrapping the ankle and giving him crutches. He finished this game with one catch for 17 yards.
Despite being a sixth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Core was able to have his roster spot comfortably secured going into to the preseason, after being on the roster all of last year. But an injury can obviously change that outlook.
Core is still favored to win a spot on the 53-man roster, but if he misses time with this injury, that gives guys like Kermit Whitfield and Alonzo Russell more reps and chances to steal Core's spot. Both Whitfield and Russell have had some nice moments in training camp and the preseason, though not enough yet to make Core sweat. Not to mention, Alex Erickson is currently expected to take on an unprecedented seventh wide receiver spot. So, if an injury occurs at receiver, the Bengals could just go with the usual six.
Core has had a great training camp and offseason in general. Even with the Bengals spending the ninth overall pick on John Ross, they're bringing him along slowly, making it possible for Core to have a big role in the offense early in the regular season. He still has to fight Brandon LaFell for snaps on the boundary next to A.J. Green, but the Bengals still love the potential Core has in this offense.
We’ll keep you posted if anything else comes of this injury.