The Bengals have lost yet another linebacker for an extended absence.
After missing Vontaze Burfict (suspension) for the first four games and Preston Brown (ankle injury) for two more, Cincinnati will now be without Nick Vigil for around a month, as he suffered an MCL sprain in Sunday’s loss to the Steelers.
The #Bengals are expected to be without prolific LB Nick Vigil for about a month, source said, as he suffered a sprained MCL on Sunday. It came on a cut block in the first quarter.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 15, 2018
Going into Week 6, Vigil actually led the NFL in stops (tackles causing an offensive failure), according to Pro Football Focus. The third-year linebacker was one of the few bright spots in a Bengals defense that’s been a massive disappointment this season.
With Vigil out, that means guys like Hardy Nickerson and Jordan Evans are going to get more snaps. Both have struggled mightily at times this season, especially Nickerson. This was already an obvious position of weakness, and things just got worse.
Since Vigil is out for an extended time, he may be a candidate to go on injured reserve and be designated to return later, though the Bengals will obviously try to let him heal and hopefully return within the next month vs. being out for eight weeks on IR.
Here’s the play on which the injury occurred:
Bengals defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said it was a legal play for Roosevelt Nix. Vigil was on crutches with a giant brace on his knee in the locker room on Monday.