Collins now in the spotlight for Bengals

Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker


The Cincinnati Bengals were not expected to get much out of Andre Smith in the first week of the regular season. But with Smith’s foot injury Tuesday, this puts reserve tackle Anthony Collins in the spotlight for the near future.

Collins received all the first team reps in training camp. But in the back of his mind, Collins knew he would relinquish the job to Smith sooner than later. But with the injury, don't expect that passing of the torch to happen any time soon.

According to Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, Smith is expected to miss "a few weeks." The good news is Smith’s injury doesn’t require surgery. But with the regular season right around the corner, a few weeks could include the Sept. 13 season opener against the Denver Broncos.

Even when Smith returns, he will be further set back because he's yet to see any game action and had very little practice time. Those factors could keep Collins in the starting role even longer.

Without its No. 6 overall pick, is Cincinnati’s offensive line good enough to protect quarterback Carson Palmer early in the regular season? We will find out very soon.