By Danny Cox
Back in week 13, the Cincinnati Bengals were able to defeat the San Diego Chargers by a score of 17-10 while out visiting the West Coast. Now, the Chargers are heading to Paul Brown Stadium to face the Bengals again, but this time, there will be a few cats that aren’t as healthy as they were weeks ago.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Takes The Witness Stand, Describes Alleged Attack As Real And Like 'Something Out Of Looney Tunes Adventures'
A number of players were limited at practice this week and there were even a few of them that didn’t practice at all. Backups as well as starters all had some injury and illness issues that could hamper them as they face Philip Rivers and the Chargers.
The Bengals have an exceptionally long injury report leading into their Wild Card playoff game. There is no one set side of the ball that is missing the most players either, as there are injuries all throughout the team.
Cornerback Terence Newman’s knee appears to be the most serious injury and he is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game with the Chargers. Newman practiced only on Friday and it was in a limited capacity. Dre Kirkpatrick, who is listed as probable with an illness, could end up starting in his place.
Furthering problems in the secondary include backup strong safety Chris Crocker being limited in practice this week with a knee injury, but he should be fine to play.
On offense, center Kyle Cook is listed as questionable with a foot injury. Seeing as how this is a playoff game though, he’ll push through it and likely play. Trevor Robinson could step in as needed, though.
Tight end is where some problems could arise for quarterback Andy Dalton and the Bengals passing game. Starter Jermaine Gresham has been dealing with a hamstring problem that has him listed as questionable. Backup tight end Tyler Eifert is also questionable with a neck injury.
Both were limited in practice most of the week, but practiced fully on Friday. The third tight end on the team is second-year player Kevin Brock.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Coldest Temperatures In Nearly 10 Months Early Tuesday
A number of other players are listed as probable including starting offensive tackle Anthony Collins (ankle), wide receiver A.J. Green (knee), starting right tackle Andre Smith (ankle), and starting offensive guard Andrew Whitworth (ankle).
All four had times they were limited at practice throughout the week, but they are ready for Sunday and will be in the game. There’s no chance they’ll allow such a big game to happen without them.
Cincinnati’s injury list may be long, but there is not a lot seriously wrong with any of the Bengals. Terence Newman’s injury is the most concerning, but the hopes are that he can go or Kirkpatrick is healthy enough to fill in.
These players know the team needs to be at full strength to defeat the Chargers and stay in the Super Bowl race, so they aren’t going to let minor injuries keep them from playing.
- CB Terence Newman – Knee
- C Kyle Cook – Foot
- TE Tyler Eifert – Neck
- DE Wallace Gilberry – Concussion
- TE Jermaine Gresham – Hamstring
- T Anthony Collins – Ankle
- S Chris Crocker – Knee
- WR A.J. Green – Knee
- CB Dre Kirkpatrick – Illness
- LB Vincent Rey – Ankle
- T Andre Smith – Ankle
- G Andrew Whitworth – Ankle
For more Bengals news and updates, visit Bengals Central.MORE NEWS: View Live Radar
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.