Today’s game in Baltimore was nothing short of a disaster for the Bengals, who fell 27-3 in a game that didn’t even feel that close. The only reason the game was even this close was the defense actually had a good performance against the high-powered Ravens offense.
Part of that was due to the impact D.J. Reader had in the middle of Cincinnati’s defense. But unfortunately, he was knocked out of the game with a left knee injury that saw him carted off the field in the third quarter.
Now, NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo says Reader has a quad injury that will likely knock him out for the rest of the 2020 season.
#Bengals DT D.J. Reader suffered a quad injury that’s expected to knock him out for the season, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. Tests to confirm when he gets back to Cincinnati but the team is bracing for the worst for their big-ticket free agent signing.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 11, 2020
Reader, who spent his first four seasons with the Texans, was signed to a four-year, $53 million contract this offseason as one of the biggest signings any team made this offseason. He was expected to greatly improve a Bengals defense that was shredded throughout the 2019 season.
While the defense has still struggled, Reader was a bright spot, as he entered Week 5 with a 71.3 Pro Football Focus grade, one of the highest marks of any Bengals defense.
Assuming Reader is out for the foreseeable future, expect the Bengals to kick of the tires on some free agent defensive tackles this week.
And hopefully, this injury doesn’t slow down Reader going into 2021, as he’s still young (26 years old) and should have a lot of good football left in him in the coming years.