(Photo Courtesy of James Ernest)
Tuesday was a rough day at Bengals’ training camp. The injury that garnered the most attention is the torn pectoral muscle for William Jackson III – I will address that in a moment. There were two other Bengal players that got banged up that concern me a bit more.
The first of those players is Tyler Kroft. Apparently the second-year TE went down in a non-contact situation in the end zone while running a pass pattern. Last evening, Ian Rappaport from NFL Network reported that Kroft hyperextended his knee and a ProFootballTalk.com report from earlier today stated that Kroft appeared to “avoid serious injury.” This is much better than I had originally feared – falling to a heap in a non-contact situation and having to leave on a cart is usually the harbinger of surgery to come. This injury could have proved catastrophic for the boys in stripes, as they are still waiting for Tyler Eifert to return; and, some reports have him missing time in the regular season. Any prolonged recovery for Kroft would result in the Bengals needing to find some sort of replacement on the thin free agent market.
Safety Shawn Williams also left the field with a trainer, after suffering some sort of discomfort. Williams signed a hefty deal to replace Reggie Nelson at safety. There are more options for the Bengals if the safety is injured for any amount of time. Josh Shaw could step in, Derron Harris could play, or the newly signed Jimmy Wilson could all step in and make up for Williams in his absence.
The final, and most newsworthy, injury is the one suffered by William Jackson III. The rookie suffered a torn pectoral muscle – an injury that will more than likely keep him out for the season. This injury isn’t as bad, as Jackson was probably going to play in nickel situations and on special teams. A healthy Darqueze Dennard was more than likely going to get more playing time than Jackson (especially as the slot corner), so the rookie will continue to learn – just from the sidelines. What about a fourth DB? I’m interested in Leon Hall, but I’m not sure the Bengals are. The vet visited with the Giants today, his second trip to the Big Apple since May. Marvin Lewis says that the team is “in contact with players all the time,” and said that they have contacted Hall. I think the fit is natural, Hall knows the defense and did a pretty good job last year. However, Hall would be a one-trick pony. I doubt he would contribute on special teams – and the Bengals tend to use their backup DBs as special teamers. Does this rule Hall out? No. However, it makes a reunion less likely. We shall see what happens in the next few days, because the Bengals will need to make a move soon.