The Cincinnati Bengals are now division champs with hopes of earning the AFC’s No. 1 overall seed, though it’s looking very likely that they’ll be playing in Wild Card Weekend.
While the Bengals appear to have made it out of Sunday’s win over the Kansas City Chiefs with no major injuries, one key player who got knocked out of the game was left guard Quinton Spain.
After suffering a right ankle injury in the first half, Spain had to be carted off the field in clear pain. Thankfully, it doesn’t sound like it was a major injury.
During his Monday press conference, head coach Zac Taylor revealed that Spain’s injury is just an ankle sprain. Though he’ll likely be out Week 18 vs. the Cleveland Browns, it’s not thought to be bad enough to sideline Spain for too long, so a return in the playoffs is possible.
Zac Taylor on Quinton Spain: "It’s an ankle sprain. I don’t anticipate him to be ready to play this weekend but hopefully it won’t be much longer after that."— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) January 3, 2022
And of course, Taylor gave a brief but positive update on Joe Burrow, who left the end of Sunday’s game after twisting his knee, but it was clear after the game that the injury wasn’t anything serious.
Taylor was, however, unwilling to make a final call on if the Bengals will rest starters in Week 18 now that they’ve clinched the division.
"We haven't gotten too deep in conversations (about playing time)." Zac Taylor says Joe Burrow is in a "good" place in terms of his right knee. #Bengals— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) January 3, 2022
The good news there for the Bengals is they’ll likely know before Sunday if they can earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Chiefs play the Denver Broncos Saturday. If the Chiefs win, then the Bengals can’t get the 1 seed, in which case they probably rest at least a few starters on Sunday and limit the snaps of other key players.
But if Denver pulls a shocker against Kansas City, then the 1 seed is very much still in play Sunday, though they’d need a win at Cleveland and a loss by the Tennessee Titans to the Jacksonville Jaguars to get that seed and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.