CINCINNATI (AP) — Bengals center Kyle Cook could be lost for the season because of a foot and ankle injury, the second significant setback to Cincinnati’s offensive line during the preseason.
Cook hurt his right foot and ankle when a defender fell on it during a preseason game on Thursday night. He didn’t think it was a severe injury at first and stayed in the game.
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He showed up at Paul Brown Stadium on Monday expecting to practice. Doctors sent him for precautionary X-rays and an MRI that found a more significant problem. He had a protective boot on his right foot on Tuesday in the locker room.
“Obviously I’m not going to play in this game (Thursday at Indianapolis) and my status is unclear as far as the year goes,” Cook said.
The Bengals (No. 14 in the AP Pro32) already have lost left guard Travelle Wharton for the season with a knee injury suffered in the preseason opener. Their backup at center is rookie Trevor Robinson, signed as an undrafted free agent from Notre Dame. He played guard in high school and college, but the Bengals moved him to center during training camp.
Asked on Tuesday when he last played center regularly, Robinson said, “Uh, last week?”
“I never played center in high school, in college, so it’s new since I’ve been here,” Robinson said.
The Bengals also have a rookie starting at right guard — Kevin Zeitler, taken with the 27th overall pick in the draft. The injuries leave Cincinnati with little experience in the middle of the line, something they’ll likely look to fix as teams make their final roster cuts this week.
Cook has started the past 50 regular-season games for Cincinnati, last missing a game in 2008 when he had a dislocated toe on his left foot.
“That was a fluke thing too,” Cook said. “That was a dislocated toe that ended up keeping me out for the whole year and to tell you the truth, that felt a lot worse than this feels. So it’s just one of those things. You play football, things get bent, broken, bruised. Just part of the game.”
Cook wore a T-shirt with the word “Unfair” on the front, summing up the moment.
“I (was) blocking somebody and a defender trying to make a tackle fell on the back of my leg,” Cook said. “Happens all the time. It’s happened many times in my career thus far. But it’s just one of those things.”