The Cincinnati Bengals may have won Sunday, but it was costly.
Throughout the 23-10 win over the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati watched Tyler Boyd (dislocated finger), Joseph Ossai (shoulder) and Trey Hendrickson (broken wrist) all get banged up, while Tee Higgins was essentially a late scratch after injuring his hamstring in pregame warmups.
Thankfully, one of these injuries are believed to be season-ending, and it’s possible they’re all out for just a week or two, at least based on what Zac Taylor said during his Monday press conference.
First off, Taylor said no one is going on injured reserve, suggesting that all of these guys will be back within the next four weeks.
Hendrickson’s wrist issue isn’t serious, and Taylor isn’t ready to rule out the star pass-rusher for the team’s Week 15 tilt vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As for Boyd and Higgins, they’re now day-to-day, while there’s no real update on Ossai.
Making matters worse is Cincinnati is star tight end Hayden Hurst is already out with a calf injury, and he remains week-to-week.
Injury updates per Zac Taylor:— Marisa Contipelli (@BengalsMarisa) December 12, 2022
Trey Hendrickson: wrist issue, "will see where it's at as we go through the week." Not ready to rule out vs TB
Tyler Boyd: dislocated finger, day-to-day
Tee Higgins: hamstring, day-to-day
Joseph Ossai: shoulder, see how the week goes
On Hayden Hurst: "We'll continue to take that week to week... See where that's at this week."— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) December 12, 2022
While there’s a real chance most, if not all of these guys are sidelined for Week 15, it doesn’t sound like any of them will be out more than a few weeks. The problem is Cincinnati’s last four games are against playoff-contending teams in the Bucs, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens.
The key for Cincinnati will be getting to Week 18 with a chance to clinch the AFC North with a win over Baltimore and having all of these guys back. If that happens, you have to like the Bengals’ odds of winning the North for a second-straight year, which would be the first time ever the franchise has won consecutive division titles.