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Mike Hilton gutted through injury to help seal Wild Card victory

No one can doubt that Mike Hilton’s heart and soul is put into every down he plays.

NFL: AFC Wild Card-Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals were in a tough spot at the end of their Wild Card game against the Las Vegas Raiders. They were only up a touchdown while the Raiders had three shots at the end zone from just inside the 10-yard line.

Clearly, this was a critical part of the game, and one of the Bengals’ biggest offseason acquisitions wasn’t going to let an injury hold him back, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.

Yet on the last third down of the game, Renfrow couldn’t break free from Hilton in man-to-man and when he made one last desperate move as Carr, his protection breaking down and looking at his last option, launched it to him, both Renfrow and Hilton slipped as the pass fell harmlessly. Hilton, playing on pretty much one leg after getting nicked earlier, gutted through.

Hilton had exited the game earlier after his leg got rolled up on in a pile. The nickel corner had jogged off the field and returned later on, but clearly it may have been worse than he let on.

The entire game Hilton and Hunter Renfrow were having quite the duel. The two biggest plays being Hilton knocking away a third down pass in the first quarter after being beat initially and then this one to help end the game.

It is hard to say that had Hilton not gone out there that his replacement would have been able to handle one of the best route runners in the NFL the same way.

Renfrow ended the game with eight catches for 58 yards. Considering he was the second most targeted receiver for Las Vegas, Hilton did quite a job. The fact he did it working through an injury only adds to the legend he is building with this Bengals team.

Safe to say there isn’t a soul in Cincinnati that will hold his previous experience with the Pittsburgh Steelers against him ever again.