The Cincinnati Bengals have a short week as they prepare for the Houston Texans on Thursday Night Football. That means anyone who was injured on Sunday is in danger of not playing just four days later, and that includes some key Bengals starters.
One of them is Michael Johnson, who is in the NFL concussion protocol and remained out Tuesday. He suffered a stinger in the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens, but after he was sent to the locker room, it was also announced he was being evaluated for a concussion. If Johnson is out Thursday, that means Chris Smith and Jordan Willis will get a lot more snaps against a Texans offensive line that looks like one of the worst in football.
Another starter missing Thursday was Trey Hopkins. He’s believed to have a major knee injury, but the fact that he hasn’t been placed on injured reserve suggests it may only keep it out for weeks, not months. Regardless, he’s almost certainly out Thursday.
On a more positive note, we saw John Ross, Shawn Williams and C.J. Uzomah continue to practice Tuesday after being listed as full participants for Monday. It’s tough to tell if they’ll play Thursday, being that they didn’t get full weeks of practice in last week, and now they’re getting a short week to prepare for the Texans.
We also saw Dre Kirkpatrick practice fully Tuesday after missing Monday’s session. He was even seen in a walking boot Monday, but it looks like that was more precautionary. Josh Shaw also got a full practice in after being limited on Monday.
The Texans were a lot healthier on the Tuesday injury report. Many of the players who were limited on Monday were able to fully practice on Tuesday, including DeShaun Watson. He was limited with an ankle injury on Monday, but he went full on Tuesday and is reportedly going to start Thursday.
However, Watson will not have his top tight end in C.J. Fiedorowicz, who was placed on IR today due to a serious concussion. Houston’s other two tight ends — Stephen Anderson and Ryan Griffin — will likely be out Thursday due to concussions as well.