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Bengals injury roundup: Missed opportunity for inactive players

The Bengals suffer a few scares to backup players as the regular season approaches.

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The last preseason game of the year means the Bengals sat just about everyone who they plan on playing a role in the 2019 season.

Players like Andy Dalton, Joe Mixon, Carl Lawson and Geno Atkins never even sniffed the field. That’s good though because it means the Bengals avoid another week without losing a major contributor.

Unfortunately, the Bengals didn’t escape their final preseason game unscathed.

Running back Rodney Anderson: Right knee

Coming into the night, this is the biggest thing Bengals’ fans had to worry about. No one has had question’s about Anderson’s talent as a running back, but the reason he fell all the way to the sixth round of this year’s NFL Draft was because he was recovering from an ACL injury, and he had a pretty rough injury history already. This was also unfortunately the same knee he injured last year at Oklahoma.

It should also be noted that Anderson was able to walk to the locker room without a limp, but that shouldn’t get your hopes up too far.

Anderson left the game with five carries for two yards (a long of four yards) and a catch for seven yards. With fellow rookie running back Trayveon Williams also expected to miss the beginning of the season, that could leave an opening for Justin Ellis or Quinton Flowers on the initial 53-man roster.

Notable players who were inactive

Considering that just about every starter was held out this week, we aren’t going to go name by name. Here are the highlights of guys missing it due to injury.

Linebacker Malik Jefferson: Non-football illness

Still trying to figure this one out after Jason Marcum openly wondered what a football illness would be.

It seems a little fishy as Jefferson is very much a bubble player after being selected in the third round of the 2018 draft. This would’ve been a good chance to get a very good look at Jefferson over what probably would’ve been most of the game.

After Nick Vigil, Preston Brown, Jordan Evans and Germaine Pratt, it is up in the air how many of the remaining linebackers could actually make the 53-man roster. It is hard to imagine Jefferson making it.

Wide receivers Stanley Morgan and Auden Tate

Neither player practiced during the week. Tate left last week’s game with a knee injury, which didn’t seem serious at the time. Him missing this week’s game isn’t the alarming part, but him not practicing is an issue. His spot on the 53-man roster isn’t written in stone, but Tate has impressed enough as a receiver and on special teams that he should make the team. He finished the preseason with eight catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Morgan seems destined to end up on the practice squad. He has five catches for 63 yards this preseason. Morgan didn’t show much on special teams either, so he isn’t exactly pushing for that seventh wide receiver spot on the roster. That isn’t to say we shouldn’t expect Morgan to push for the roster next offseason assuming the Bengals are able to get him on the practice squad.

The absence of Tate and Morgan tonight opened up the opportunity for undrafted rookie Ventell Bryant to go off with nine catches for 83 yards. He is another candidate for the practice squad, though he did make a good case for the 53-man roster with some big outings in the preseason.