A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how the Bengals should be worried. Their recent play hasn’t been at a level of what a potential playoff team should be playing at. Now, in the past 2 weeks, things are collapsing for the Bengals. With some of the most current stuff that has been happening with the Bengals, their season is in serious jeopardy.
Just recently, it was announced that AJ Green would miss a minimum of 2 games. Key word: minimum. It is very likely that he will miss more to 3-4 games. They are re-evaluating his foot in 2 weeks. This scenario happened to rookie Billy Price, where he injured his foot. He was out for a minimum of 2 games, but since the injury (week 2), he’s been out. AJ Green is a fairly quick healer, so that is good news for them. No matter how long he’s out, the injury is going to kill the offense. He’s just not a player that you can replace. He’s a top 5 wide receiver in this league. The Bengals already lost tight end Tyler Eifert, so their targets are getting thin. Tyler Boyd has been having a breakout season, and a big part of that is because of AJ Green. Green takes away somebody(usually safety) and that allows Boyd to get open. Boyd will be getting double teamed while Green is out. John Ross has had some flashes this season, but hasn’t been consistent at all. He’s also been suffering a groin injury throughout the year. He has no choice but to be a factor in the games Green is out. People are forgetting about his crazy speed, and it seems like the Bengals have too. In the beginning of the season, we saw defenses put an extra safety on Ross, and that opened up the offense. As the year went on, teams realized that the Bengals weren’t using Ross, so they put just a normal corner on him. Even after that, Bengals didn’t use him. That can’t be the case while Green is out. They must utilize Ross in any way they can. At the very least, they need to take a deep shot with him so the safeties can backup. If the Bengals do that and the opposing defense starts to double cover, then that can open up someone else. That can also help the run game a little. The Bengals offensive line isn’t exactly stellar, so taking an extra guy out of the box can help, a lot. You can also expect the Bengals to run a lot of screens.
What really killed the Bengals about Greens’ injury, is the Bengals did nothing about it. The Bengals are doing the usual “next man up,” but it just doesn’t work like that. They’re counting on bench wide receivers who have done basically nothing this year. The Bengals front office trying not to sign or trade for someone, is completely mind boggling. I know the trade line has passed, but they learned about his injury before the deadline. They didn’t even attempt to trade for someone. They also had a golden opportunity to try and sign Dez Bryant. It’s not guaranteed they could have gotten him to sign-honestly he probably wouldn’t have- but they should have at least tried. It doesn’t even have to be Bryant, they could have called Marshall or Aiken. Its stuff like this that make the Bengals mediocre. They will never be great because they never do what’s needed(I can say that confidently, because I am a Bengals fan). Unless a wide receiver truly does step up, the Bengals are in trouble.
Also, the Bengals lost defensive end Carl Lawson. They do have great depth at defensive end, but losing Lawson still hurts them. He was one of the best defensive ends at getting pressure. That’s pretty hard to replace. That’s a huge hit to one of the already worst defenses in the league.
There were 2 players that couldn’t be injured for the Bengals: Andy Dalton and AJ Green. Green being hurt is going to kill them. Unless they miraculously find a replacement on their bench, the Bengals are in serious danger. They better hope Green is out for minimal time.