The Cincinnati Bengals suffered two major injuries on Sunday. That’s our cue to go ahead and call it a wrap for 2016 in Cincy.
It has been a disappointing season for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2016. After being one of the most consistent teams in the NFL the past few years, the Bengals are likely going to be missing the playoffs this season. It would be the first time since 2010 that the Bengals have missed the postseason.
On Sunday in Week 11, the Bengals lost a tight game at home to the Buffalo Bills, which resulted in them dropping to 3-6-1. Even though the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens haven’t run away with the AFC North this season, they are both in much better position than the Bengals to take home the division crown.
In the loss, the Bengals saw two of their top offensive weapons go down with injuries. Both wide receiver A.J. Green and running back Giovani Bernard suffered majors injuries in the loss. Both players are expected to miss the rest of the regular season for the Bengals. This will be a blow they won’t be able to recover from.
This season, Green has been one of the best wide receivers in football. In 2016, Green has totaled 66 receptions, 964 receiving yards, and four receiving touchdowns. Green is second in the NFL in receiving yards, behind only Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons. The monster season for Green has put him in that elite wide receiver conversation with Jones, Antonio Brown, and Odell Beckham Jr.
Unfortunately, Green suffered a tear in his hamstring and it expected to miss multiple weeks, if not the entire regular season.
In addition to Green being injured, Bernard tore his ACL and will be out for the rest of the season. Along with Jeremy Hill in the backfield, Bernard is a valuable weapon. Bernard has become a key player because of his pass-catching ability out of the backfield.
Bernard had totaled 39 receptions, 336 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown prior to Sunday’s injury. Even though he wasn’t running the ball that well this season with a 3.7 yards per carry average, Bernard plays a big part in the Bengals offense.
Missing both Bernard and Green will likely result in the Bengals offense crumbling for the rest of the season. Quarterback Andy Dalton will be in for a tough time without his star wide receiver and versatile running back. Furthermore, it will be interesting to see how Dalton plays with lack of weapon.
Having tight end Tyler Eifert back is good for the Bengals, but he is going to be asked to do a lot. Without Green lining up at wide receiver, stopping Eifert will become easier. Expect to see defense key on Eifert like they were doing to Green.
Even though there is a good chunk of the season left, the Bengals can kiss their playoff streak goodbye. Finally, unless Dalton is able to pull off a miracle for the rest of the regular season, we will likely be looking at a Bengals team that finishes under .500 this season.