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Cincinnati Bengals

Injury Check In with an Injury Expert

Joel Chandler

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Hello again Bengals fans! Before the season started I spoke with Karyn Trivette DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) about some of the more oft injured Bengals and how their prospects looked for the season. Well here we are just past the quarter mark of the season and two of those players we focused on are not playing. I spoke with Karyn again about the players that are currently out and how their injuries might affect the rest of their season. Lets jump right in.

John Ross: The doubters all “knew” this was coming. It’s only listed as a groin injury but I was assured that could basically only be a pull, especially since he went limited last Wednesday. Karyn and I agreed this injury wasn’t related to any of his previous injuries as he hadn’t had any lower body injuries lately that could have contributed to this pull (he ran a 4.22 after his meniscus injuries, that leg was fine). This injury is like a hamstring pull, if you give it enough time it can heal up entirely and he can go 100% again this season. Basically you just have weak spot in the muscle that will heal up eventually, but if he tries to play on it too soon he has a high likely hood of re-injuring that same spot or another mechanism in the leg trying to compensate. It can also hamper his performance as far as agility, cutting, change of direction until it’s fully healed. He should still have access to his turbo button in a straight line though as long as it’s not too painful. The recovery time is based on how bad the tear is which we don’t know. The offense is different without him but if he’s rushed out there too quickly it could be without him a lot longer.

Tyler Eifert: Man this one was heart rending. It was just dumb luck, that fall would have broken anyone’s ankle but of course it happens to Tyler. From the information we could gather Karyn assured me that while he’s for sure done for the year, even through the playoffs,
but he should be able to come back 100% next year. There was no reported dislocation or screw and plated after the surgery so he should have his full athleticism at his disposal next year. Her only concern was if the fracture was too low, close to the joint, but judging by the video she thought that was unlikely. We’ll see if the Bengals roll the dice again next year.

Billy Price: This one is a real shame. It came out that he has a partially torn tendon in his foot. The good news, Karyn told me, is that if he fully tore the wrong tendon is his foot he could have been done for the year. The bad news is that this isn’t going away this year. This isn’t going to fully heal in season and may need surgery in the offseason. When he does come back it’s going to limit his movement skills. That’s unfortunate because that was a big upgrade for the Bengals in the run game, having a center that can move and make blocks in space. I’m not saying he won’t be able to do that but he won’t be as quick as he could be. His power, plant and drive should all be intact. I expect this injury to hamper him more in the run game than in the pass game. However when wrestling those big nose tackles which he’s so good at, he should be nearly 100%. This injury is also going to increase his chances of getting hurt for the rest of the year. That tendon will be particularly vulnerable but it will also lead to higher risk for compensation injuries. Other mechanisms on his body are going to have to compensate and function differently, which is always less than ideal. He may not even re-injure the foot but it still increases his injury chances throughout the body. We won’t see 100% Billy Price until 2019.

Vontaze Burfict: He’s not hurt, but I did ask Karyn about “football shape”. I was always suspicious of this, conditioning wise. Sure it takes getting out there and getting knocked around a little to get your mind right, muscle memory and all that. However, physiologically, there’s nothing to it. Tez played pretty well against Miami and we can expect that to continue. Him getting all that time off from the training camp ankle injury was probably a good thing.

Giovani Bernard: I only got a chance to do a brief text exchange with Karyn about Gio. Unfortunately we’ve likely seen the best of Gio for 2018. His MCL sprain is likely to nag all season. Perhaps with limited reps and the appropriate amount of time off he can get close to 100% but this one is another bad news scenario. The upside is that Gio is a full fledged warrior and has proven he can heal faster than mere mortals with his incredible ACL recovery. So he may be able to surprise us with how well he can perform.

I didn’t get a chance to talk to Karyn about Tyler Kroft the report that he was cruising around the locker room in a boot on a Scootypuff Jr. is a bad sign.

Have any questions, concerns or criticisms? I’d love to hear from you via comments or hit me up on twitter @joelknowsbungs

Joel is a punk rock musician that plays guitar for 5 Days Dirty and bass for Requiem. Born, raised and educated in Cincinnati until his music took him to Oakland, CA. Joel had a brief stint as a college football scout and still watches a lot of film. He's been a Bengals fan since 2004. He has a love/hate relationship with the team but desperately wants them to win

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Cincinnati Bengals

Not Another Bengals, Chiefs Preview

Jeffery Carr

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© David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Week seven of the NFL regular season is upon us and the Cincinnati Bengals have a golden opportunity this Sunday on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. Guessing that’s not where your mind went when you thought of this game?

The Basics

The Bengals and Chiefs have squared off 28 times, over the years, with the Bengals holding a slight 15-13 advantage. Cincinnati holds a four-game winning streak over Kansas City with the last loss coming at Arrowhead in 2007. Marvin Lewis is 6-2 against the Chiefs and 2-2 at Arrowhead. The Lewis-led Bengals have outscored the Chiefs 167 to 136, in their eight meetings.

The last game between these two teams was in week four of the 2015 season. The Bengals won in Paul Brown Stadium 36-21 with four of the touchdowns coming from running plays. Three TDs were scored by Jeremy Hill and the other came from Giovanni Bernard. The lone TD pass was a 55-yarder to Brandon Tate from Andy Dalton.

The Offense

This is a marvelous chance for Andy and the offense to get back on track. They managed just nine total yards in the third quarter against the Steelers, but will be facing a very pedestrian defensive squad, this coming Sunday night. In two games career games against the Chiefs, Dalton has completed 66% of his passes for 551 yards and three scores. He will face a Chiefs defense that ranks stone cold last in pass defense, allowing 340 yards per game, through the air.

Joe Mixon will be happy, though, as the Chiefs also allow an average of 127 rushing yards, per game. In fact, the Bengals offense, as a whole, should feast on Sunday. They’re averaging 29 points per game and the Chiefs allow 28.7 per game.

The Defense

They’re banged up, and they’re outgunned in this matchup. Statistically, Cincinnati’s defense has fared only slightly better than Kansas City’s. The Bengals are allowing just over 400 total yards, a game, and 26 points per game. Couple that with the high-flying offense of Patrick Mahomes, who averages 418 total yards and 35 points per game, and I’d say you should bet the over, whatever Vegas has it set as.

Nick Vigil and Darqueze Dennard have been ruled out and Shawn Williams is listed as questionable. Given that eight different defensive starters came off the field last Sunday, at different points in the game, and this coming game may be crazy, simply from a health standpoint.

The Skinny

This matchup has a real chance at being a playoff preview as well as a carbon copy of the Falcons game, a few weeks back. The Chiefs will be in a battle with the Chargers, all season, for the AFC West and the Bengals, though on top for the moment, have no room for comfort with the Ravens and Steelers knocking on the door. Whoever has the ball last in this pivotal game could very well end up the winner.

I’d expect to see a lot of William Jackson and Tyreek Hill matchups. Some have said Hill is the best receiver, in the game, this year so Jackson will need to be on his toes for all 60 minutes. Meanwhile, Kansas City receiving threat 1-B, Travis Kelce, will probably be Teryl Austin’s biggest headache. The Bengals, no matter the personnel or the coaching staff, have always struggled to cover the opposing tight end. Enter, arguably, the best tight end in the NFL with his 468 receiving yards and three TDs. I’m no expert fantasy football predictor, but I’d bet he is a top scorer, this week. And I haven’t even mentioned the Chiefs’ stud running back, Kareem Hunt. Dude is a threat to run all over the place (456 yds, 4th in NFL) and be a pain to the Bengals pass defense (17 yards per catch). Pray for Austin and the Bengals defense.

Bringing it Home

That being said, this is a winnable game for the Bengals. They have the firepower to hang with Kansas City. If you jumped off the wagon after the loss to the Steelers and think the Bengals are going to get absolutely crushed by the Chiefs, you won’t agree with me, so whatevs, but this game isn’t that big of a mismatch. John Ross will be on the field for Cincinnati, giving them their bonafide deep threat to contend with the Chiefs’ big play abilities. AJ Green has nobody to worry about on the Chiefs defense, and will be able to roam free, looking for holes in the coverage. Which just means Tyler Boyd will be able to give as much of his safety blanket-ness to Andy as he can. Should the line have a rough day protecting the pocket, Dalton will have plenty of chances to scramble and make something happen while extending the play. One of these two teams will begin the game hot only to try to slow it down with the rushing game, but I believe both defenses will be porous enough to allow some highlight reel plays deep. This is going to be an entertaining game to watch, if your pacemaker doesn’t give out in the first half. Call me crazy, call me a homer (whatevs, I’m no professional), but I say the Bengals win.

Prediction: Bengals 42, Chiefs 38

Follow @jefffcarr and @lockedonBengals for more Orange and Black content on Twitter

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Cincinnati Bengals

WATCH: Houshmandzadeh says the Bengals are going to beat the Chiefs

James Rapien

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Former Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh says the Bengals are going to beat the Chiefs on Sunday night football. He also thinks Andy Dalton’s struggles in primetime games are just a ‘coincidence.’ He was a guest on ‘The Herd’ on Fox Sports One. Watch the video below.

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Cincinnati Bengals

‘Vontaze can be as great as he wants to be’

James Rapien

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Vontaze Burfict has been talked about a lot this week. Not for his dominant play, but for a questionable hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.

This isn’t new for Burfict. His play has been discussed for years. He’s been fined or suspended 11 times in his career, which has cost him over $1 million in salary.

Some people believe Burfict should be suspended for the rest of the season. Others think he should be out of the NFL forever. There’s no denying that he’s earned his reputation.

Burfict doesn’t like how he’s viewed in the media. If he wants to change it, he can start by playing like an elite linebacker against Kansas City. He doesn’t look like the player he once was. It’s probably because he’s missed so much time over the past few years. Burfict has appeared in 11 games or fewer in his last four seasons due to suspensions and injuries. He hasn’t forced a turnover since 2016, which is the last time he was playing at an elite level.

That leads me to a question that has been asked a lot this week: Is Burfict worth the headache? His teammates certainly think so.

“Vontaze can be as great as he wants to be,” Carlos Dunlap said earlier this week. “And as you’ve seen up to this level he’s played as one of the best linebackers in the league. And I feel like he has the potential to be even better.”

Sunday is an opportunity for Burfict to put on a show. It’s a chance for him to remind people that he is one of the best linebackers in the league. If he goes out there, dominates and does it without any questionable hits, then the entire country will see why the Bengals signed him to two contract extensions. Leading a struggling defense into Kansas City and getting a win would be huge for how people view him. Fans and media could discuss his stellar play, instead of a late-hit or a PED suspension.

He needs to remind people, including fans, that he can be a great player. Burfict just turned 28-years-old. He signed a contract extension with the Bengals last season. There has been plenty of chatter about Burfict this week, but that isn’t bothering rookie safety Jessie Bates.

“He’s so smart and he makes things easier for me communication wise,” Bates said on Wednesday. “Obviously he’s been doing this for a long time. He plays very violent and some people don’t like that. I’m glad that he’s on our team.”

It’s hard to envision Burfict changing at this point, but he can use Sunday to his advantage. He can show a national television audience that he’s able to play the game at a high level and do so without getting fined, flagged or suspended for questionable play.

Once upon a time Burfict was an undrafted free agent who impressed coaches with his knowledge of the game. Fast forward to present day and he’s a ‘dirty player’ who should be suspended or worse. Burfict has a chance to remind everyone of how good he can be. Whether or not he takes advantage of it is up to him.

For more, listen to the latest Locked on Bengals podcast below.

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