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Bengals Injury Roundup: Cincinnati’s new approach pays off on injury report

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Zac Taylor said he wanted to keep his starters fresh and healthy by changing how the team approached the third preseason game, and it is hard to argue with results.

Cincinnati Bengals v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Bengals and head coach Zac Taylor went into Week 3 of the preseason with a plan, and that plan was to change things up by not playing starters a significant amount of time.

The reason? To help cut down on injuries to vital players as well as keep everyone fresh.

They accomplished that plan, as only one player reportedly left with injury during the game, and even that seemed to just be precautionary. The starters were out of the game pretty quickly into the second quarter.

Running back Joe Mixon didn’t even play. The only starters who remained in the game were interior linemen who are in the thick of a battle for the starting spots at center and guard, which included Trey Hopkins, Billy Price and Michael Jordan.

The Bengals may not have won the game, but the fact they avoided any serious injuries is probably more important as the regular season is right on their doorstep.

Wide receiver Auden Tate: Knee injury

It was unfortunate that Tate was ruled out so quickly. He actually started the game for Cincinnati. He caught one pass for a 10-yard gain before leaving.

Given the fact he started over players like Josh Malone and Cody Core, you can probably assume his spot on the 53-man roster is pretty safe. If that is the case, it would make sense that even at the first sign of injury the team would declare him out. It should also be noted that Tate was scene standing on the sideline uninhibited by any wraps or ice.

Still, we will keep an eye out to see if Tate ends up missing any practices related to this injury. He should still see some playing time next week as A.J. Green and John Ross should still be out.

Bengals who were inactive Week 3 of the preseason

Some recurring names belong to wide receiver A.J. Green and John Ross. Green is still recovering from an ankle injury he suffered during the Bengals first training camp practice in Dayton. Ross hasn’t been activated yet, but Taylor is hopeful that Ross will start practicing Sunday.

Safety Clayton Fejedelem hurt his ankle Week 1 against the Chiefs. Taylor seemed confident that Fejedelem wouldn’t miss any time during the regular season, but we will have to wait and see on that.

Offensive tackle Cordy Glenn self reported a concussion following the game against Washington, so he’s iffy for Week 1 against the Seahawks. Andre Smith has been starting at left tackle in his absence.

Offensive lineman Christian Westerman isn’t playing after missing the entire week of practice. He didn’t make the trip with the team to Washington, but he returned on Wednesday rather than retiring from football. Westerman should see plenty of playing time next week though as we saw plenty of mixing and matching from the Bengals this week,

This is the second game in a row that cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick missed. Last week, he was declared out with a “tweak,” so this could be a matter of the coaching staff being extra cautious with their starting corner. Dennard has not been activated as he is still recovering from offseason knee scope.

Running back Trayveon Williams hurt his foot last week against Washington after injuring his ribs during Week 1 against the Chiefs. He is out for the preseason, but the coaching staff is hopeful he will return early in the season. Williams absence opened up plenty of carries for fellow rookie running back Rodney Anderson to have himself a day. He finished the game with four receptions for 51 yards.

Drew Sample was added to the injury report with a hamstring this week, so it is no surprise that we didn’t see the rookie. Backup quarterback Jeff Driskel was also diagnosed with a hamstring injury this week. Stanley Morgan Jr. was also absent from practice this week, but the injury hasn’t been disclosed at the time this post was written. A tough game to miss for the undrafted rookie, as Damion Willis and Auden Tate were named starters for the games.

Driskel’s absence also gave the Bengals some snaps to throw Jake Dolegala. The undrafted rookie put on a show in the fourth quarter completing 10 of his 12 passes for 94 yards with two touchdowns.

Expect this list of inactives to be filled with players being rested next week as the Bengals have their last preseason game before the real thing starts in Seattle in just a few weeks.