The Bengals finally had some good news coming into the game against the Broncos, as they got A.J. Green, Nick Vigil and Dre Kirkpatrick back from injury. Even though they’d have to face the rest of the season without Andy Dalton at quarterback, it gave fans a slight glimmer of hope that maybe Jeff Driskel could spark a fire.
That flame quickly dwindled as the injury concerns of the Bengals are much like a hydra, Once you take out one head, two more will take its place. Or in this case, three more.
Here is this week's injury roundup:
A.J. Green, wide receiver (Foot)
Let’s get the biggest injury out of the way first. Green went down in the first half without even making contact with the defender. He instantly pointed to his foot, and he was quickly declared out for the rest of the game. He was carted off the field, and he left the stadium in a boot.
All of that points to the assumption that Green has played his last down for this season. It is unfortunate considering how determined Green was to return and try and give some meaning to this season again.
Green was replaced by Alex Erickson and Cody Core (who scored his first touchdown of his career). Auden Tate will presumably be active once again with Green on the field and Josh Malone still recovering from his hamstring injury.
Dre Kirkpatrick, cornerback (Leg)
Right after the start of the second half, Kirkpatrick limped off the field with what appeared to be an ankle injury. He was able to return to the game, but he missed enough time that his replacement, rookie Darius Phillips, gave up a touchdown to another rookie Courtland Sutton.
Kirkpatrick missed last week’s game with a shoulder injury, and it will be interesting to see if he shows up on this week's injury report with a leg injury. He was seen wearing a boot in the locker room after the game.
Vontaze Burfict, linebacker (Concussion)
Burfict had a quiet exit to the game. Most people didn’t notice until his replacement, Hardy Nickerson Jr., forced a fumble, and everyone was wondering why he was even on the field. The injury happened sometime after the Bengals gave up the long touchdown run to the Broncos’ running back Phillip Lindsay in the third quarter.
The Bengals finally had both of their starting linebackers on the field for the first time since Nick Vigil went down against the Steelers. Now, we will have to see how Burfict progresses through the concussion protocol
- OL Cordy Glenn
- OL Cedric Ogbuehi
- WR Auden Tate
- CB Tony McRae
- LB Brandon Bell
- WR Josh Malone
- DE Kasim Edebali
The biggest lingering injury is Glenn, who missed his second straight game. This led to some shuffling along the offensive line, which included moving Clint Boling to left tackle and inserting Trey Hopkins at left guard.
It is also very telling how little Ogbuehi is thought of as he wasn’t even active over Andre Smith, who was signed earlier this week. It makes you wonder why he is even taking up a roster spot at this point if the Bengals feel they can pick up a guy who is better than him.