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Bengals injury news: Trey Hopkins leaves season opener with knee injury

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The Bengals lose their starting guard to what looks like a significant knee injury.

NFL: Preseason-Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals are having one of the worst halves of football in the Marvin Lewis era. A bad injury was part of that, and it came when Trey Hopkins suffered a knee injury against the Baltimore Ravens.

The play during which Hopkins was injured occurred near the end of the second quarter on a tipped pass in which Andy Dalton was intercepted. Hopkins left the field favoring his right knee, was examined by trainers, and the team has since ruled his return as doubtful with a left knee injury.

Hopkins was one of the best stories of the Bengals’ offseason. He rose up from being mostly a practice squad body in recent years to easily being one of the 3-5 best linemen on this team in 2017.

Despite veteran Andre Smith being signed to a sizable free agent deal to start at guard this offseason, Hopkins was hands down the better lineman in training camp. He’s been arguably the best story this year in Cincinnati.

However, Hopkins has had trouble with injuries throughout his career. After signing with the Bengals as an undrafted free agent out of Texas in 2014, Hopkins suffered a season-ending knee injury in the third preseason game, which led to him going on I.R.

Hopkins returned the following year to make the practice squad. He made the 53-man roster in 2016, but he was eventually waived and would bounce between the roster and practice squad.

T.J. Johnson took over at right guard for the Bengals. He figures to finish the game there after he, ironically, got his first start at guard versus Baltimore in Week 17 last season. Johnson played well enough to think he’s the third-best guard on this team right now behind Hopkins and Clint Boling.

If Hopkins is out for an extended period of time, that means Alex Redmond or Christian Westerman will be active on gamedays going forward. Both were made inactive against Baltimore.