Injuries can derail any team’s plans for a season.
The Bengals’ 2017 campaign was certainly impacted by the loss of key players. While injuries can affect any player, some players seem to be more injury-prone than others. For the Bengals to be successful in 2018 they need these three players to stay healthy.
1. Cordy Glenn
One of the reasons Glenn became available to the Bengals this offseason was that he missed the majority of the Buffalo Bills’ games last season due to injury. Glenn played in only six games in 2018 due to lingering foot and ankle injuries that eventually led him to the injury reserve list.
The Bengals’ offensive line was decimated by free agency in 2017. Using their first-round pick to acquire both Glenn and Billy Price was a great way to fix that problem, but if Glenn can’t get on the field the Bengals will still have a glaring hole at left tackle.
2. Tyler Eifert
Eifert’s health has become so much of a running joke within the Bengals’ fandom, that this offseason he has taken to posting workout videos as if to say “see, I really am healthy.”
EIfert is a touchdown machine and the team’s second-most prolific receiving threat when he’s healthy. Tyler Kroft has done very well filling in for Eifert, but Kroft does not take the defense’s attention away from A.J. Green the way that Eifert can.
When Eifert has been healthy, the Bengals have been at their best, including an 11-win season in his rookie season and a 12-win season in his third season. Those are the only two years in which Eifert has appeared in double digit games in the regular season.
Needless to say, if the Bengals are to reach their ultimate potential in 2018, it will involve Eifert appearing in the majority of games they play in.
3. John Ross
The ninth-overall pick in 2018 was supposed to be a dynamic pass-catching option opposite Green, but Ross struggled with injury as a rookie and finished the year without a catch. Ross is a highly-skilled receiver and more than just the fastest man in the history of the NFL Combine.
The Bengals need him healthy and integrated into the offense. They’ve just gotten too little from Brandon LaFell, Tyler Boyd and the other receivers to think this offense can become great without Ross making a big impact in Year 2.