But not all news was bad, as it appears safety Shawn Williams won’t be sidelined long after injuring his calf Tuesday, per Geoff Hobson:
Vet safety Shawn Williams, who injured his calf in positional drills on Tuesday and got carted off, looks like he could be back in time for the opener.
We’re still over three weeks away from the Bengals’ 2020 opener at home vs. the Chargers. Hopefully, Williams will be healed and ready to rock by then. The Bengals also have a quick turnaround with a Week 2 Thursday Night Football clash with the Browns. So if Williams isn’t ready for Week 1, there’s a decent chance he wouldn’t play Week 2 either.
Williams, who also serves as a team captain, is a key part of the Bengals’ defense, as he racked up 224 tackles over the last two seasons as a starting safety who also got snaps at linebacker. The team did sign Vonn Bell this offseason, and Jessie Bates will very likely remain the starting free safety. That means Bell and Williams could alternate snaps at strong safety while the other gets snaps as a nickle/dime linebacker.
The Bengals also lost Clayton Fejedelem this offseason, so one of Bell/Williams figures to get a good portion of those special teams snaps left vacated by Fejedelem’s departure.