The Cincinnati Bengals played without Tee Higgins for most of their Week 1 clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they were also short long-snapper Clark Harris. Harris is a key part of the Bengals special teams, and it showed on Sunday afternoon.
The Bengals were struggling to keep pace with Pittsburgh in their season opener, and the absence of both Higgins and Harris were brutal blows for the team, especially since both been instrumental for the team over the last several seasons. Harris was knocked out of the game in the second half with a biceps injury and was quickly ruled out by the team.
How brutal was the blow of Harris?
Well, the few attempts that the Bengals did have to win the game spoiled almost solely because of the team’s backup long-snapper, tight end Mitchell Wilcox. Wilcox was a tad slow on the PAT attempt with 2 seconds left in regulation. It was 20-20, and the slow snap caused enough time for Minkah Fitzpatrick to block the kick.
The second time Wilcox messed up was in overtime when the Bengals kicked a field goal and his snap was high. The holder was unable to get the laced around, and it forced McPherson to snap it to the left. It was a brutal blow with the Steelers taking the ball and eventually kicking a game-winning field goal.
It was a brutal day for Cincinnati, and the loss of Harris hurt that much more. Here’s to hoping his injury isn’t serious and he’s back on the field sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, look for the Bengals to call up practice squad long-snapper Cal Adomitis to the 53-man roster and take that role in Week 2 when Cincinnati is on the road to face the Dallas Cowboys.