We’re three months into the season and the injury bug is finally hitting the Cincinnati Bengals were it hurts.
In their fifth loss of the year, the Bengals suffered numerous injuries with varying levels of severity. Here’s what we know about the players who went down during Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Of the six sacks Burrow took, the first ended up being the most damaging. Burrow was strip-sacked on the team’s opening drive and dislocated his right pinky finger in the process. We didn’t notice the injury until late in the second quarter when the CBS cameras picked up on the finger’s dislocation relative to his other fingers.
Before the offense’s final drive of the first half, Burrow was seen throwing in pain on the sideline. Trainers tried to tape up his injured finger, but he opted to go bare handed and play through the pain. Aside from maybe a couple of throws, Burrow seemed to play fine despite the injury, and unless things are much worse than we think they are, he should be fine to play through the injury as it heals.
Logan Wilson and Markus Bailey
Perhaps the most serious injury happened to the defense’s middle linebacker. Wilson was carted off the field for a shoulder injury following a punt return at the beginning of the second quarter and did not return.
Most of the Bengals’ season-ending injuries have happened to defensive players this year, and if Wilson is to be placed on Injured Reserve, he’d be the third linebacker on the list.
Along with Wilson, Bailey exited the game early as well with a shoulder injury. The timing of his injury is unknown, but it was severe enough to keep him out of the game.
UPDATE: Per NFL insider Ian Rapoport, Wilson has a dislocated shoulder and Bailey has a stinger.
Good news/bad news for the #Bengals LB injuries from Sunday:— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 6, 2021
— LB Logan Wilson suffered a shoulder dislocation that will take him off the field, sources say. MRI is coming to determine the damage.
— LB Markus Bailey was limited yesterday, but it’s just a stinger. Should be OK.
Mixon’s recent dominance has been possible in part by his ability to stay healthy, so seeing him on the ground in agony right after halftime was heartbreaking. In his own words, he was in “a lot of pain” upon hurting his neck after a three-yard run that made him miss a total of nine plays. He was able to walk off on his own power and obviously check back into the game, but he could’ve been playing through some clear pain to finish the game. We’ll see if the coaching staff limits Mixon in practice this week.
Sunday was filled with whacky plays, and Awuzie’s final snap certainly classified as one. He somehow intercepted a deep pass out of Josh Palmer’s hands before falling to the ground and returning it for what looked to be a big gain. Unfortunately, his return yardage was called back as he was declared down by contact, and Awuzie had to be carried off the field with a limp right foot. He would not return to the field, but CincyJungle’s own Zim reports that Awuzie’s injury isn’t too bad, per a teammate of Awuzie’s.
Playing through pain was a common theme on Sunday, and Higgins was another example. Higgins was tackled from the back of his collar after his eighth catch and hurt his ankle. He only missed two plays after going to the sidelines, but he was showing a clear limp between plays. This did not stop him from receiving five more targets on the day. Zim’s report states that Higgins’ ankle should be fine.
Late in the third quarter, Perine got blown up by a blitzing Derwin James right before the talented safety sacked Burrow. Perine’s left knee buckled as Nasir Adderly fell into it and Perine limped off the field. He would return to the game, so he must’ve dodged a serious injury bullet.