The Cincinnati Bengals got some terrible news Sunday morning, as promising rookie pass-rusher Joseph Ossai is set to miss the upcoming season due to a torn meniscus.
Not long after that report came out, head coach Zac Taylor met with the media and gave an update on Ossai. While Taylor acknowledged Ossai has a knee injury, he wouldn’t confirm it’s of the season-ending variety.
#Bengals coach Zac Taylor confirms Joseph Ossai did injure his knee and not just his wrist but he’s still waiting on more information and won’t confirm reports he tore his meniscus and is out for the year.— Laurel Pfahler (@LaurelPfahler) August 22, 2021
Taylor added that fellow rookie defensive end Cameron Sample is day-to-day with his shoulder injury suffered in Friday’s preseason loss to the Washington Football Team.
If healthy, Sample figures to have a big role in the defensive line rotation now that Ossai is out. Sample has been spending time on the edge and as an interior rusher on passing downs. He was one of the Bengals’ top players in Washington.
Highest-graded rookie defenders in Friday night’s games:— PFF (@PFF) August 21, 2021
Jamin Davis, Washington - 75.5
Marco Wilson, Cardinals - 74.4
Cam Sample, Bengals - 70.8 pic.twitter.com/KTyBbyJzMm
The Bengals have also signed free agent defensive end Noah Spence to give the team more depth on the edge heading into the preseason finale. Spence hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since the 2019 season, so my guess is he’ll be nothing more than depth and gets cut during final roster cuts.
One other note: Taylor said that he still doesn’t know if Joe Burrow will play in next Sunday’s preseason finale vs. the Miami Dolphins, but he’s still expected to start Week 1 of the regular season vs. the Minnesota Vikings.