There was one major injury, but aside from that, the Bengals left Atlanta relatively healthy and with a win. Hopefully, nothing sustained will keep anyone out as the Bengals get set to take on the Dolphins on Sunday. We have to start off with the bad news though.
Tight end Tyler Eifert’s injury obviously was the most soul-crushing of any injury on Sunday. He caught a short screen pass, and his foot got caught as the defender rolled on his leg. It was very clear that his ankle was terribly injured as it seemed his foot was going the wrong direction. Eifert had caught his first touchdown of the season in Atlanta, and he was heavily involved in the game as the Falcons were dealing with injuries at safety and linebacker.
Eifert’s season is over. The next steps in his career will depend on his recovery. Will he be a Bengal or even able to continue his football career after this injury? Eifert’s injury history is well documented as he hasn’t been healthy for a full season in any of his six NFL seasons.
Even Marvin Lewis admitted Sunday that Eifert’s string of injuries is as unfortunate as he’s seen from an NFL player.
“I would imagine. It’s a shame. I told him yesterday, ‘you’re good at this’. He said, ‘I do it all the time, don’t I? I really do it the right way.’ He will fight back. But it’s a shame.”
William Jackson also hurt his finger during the game. He was listed as probable to return, but it was clear he was in plenty of pain. He missed one drive, but he returned midway through the fourth quarter before leaving again after a couple of plays.
This was just part of a horrific game for Jackson, who actually earned a team-low 28.3 Pro Football Focus grade. One has to wonder how much the injury played into that and if Jackson has something else that’s bothering him. He’s taken a big step back from what he was in 2017.
Rookie running back Mark Walton was also briefly checked for a concussion. That left the Bengals with only Giovani Bernard at running back. That led to wide receiver Alex Erickson getting a rushing attempt.
The good news is Walton eventually returned to the game, so he should be good to go in Week 5 vs. the Dolphins. Hopefully Joe Mixon will be back, too.
Cincinnati went into the game without Mixon (knee) and rookie center Billy Price (foot). Mixon showed great signs of being available next week, though. He sprinted down the field to tackle A.J. Green following his game-winning touchdown. He was also all over the sidelines cheering on his teammates during the game, so it looks like he’s feeling good.
Wide receiver John Ross caught a huge touchdown pass in the first quarter. He limped off initially, and was clearly hurting as he crossed into the end zone, but he returned to game after that. In the second half, he limped off after he was targeted. It seemed to have an impact on his ability to play as we saw more of Erickson and even Cody Core when Ross would usually be in there. Following the game, it was revealed that Ross had pulled his groin. We’ll find out on Wednesday if he practices and whether it’s as a full participant.