MIAMI -- Just when it seemed the news had gotten as bad as it could have for the Cincinnati Bengals, it took another awful turn Thursday night at Sun Life Stadium. Yet another player was escorted off the field with the type of injury that has Who Dey Nation holding its collective breath and wondering if its once-promising season is suddenly in peril.
This time, it was defensive tackle Geno Atkins, who suffered what appeared to be a serious injury in the second quarter of the Bengals' game against the Miami Dolphins. Officially, it is a right-knee injury. As of halftime -- with the Dolphins leading 10-3 -- there are no real updates as to what Atkins' status is or will be going forward. All we know is that the injury was bad enough to run him from the game.
As Bengals fans well know, this isn't the first time one of their key players has left a game because of an injury. In the past three weeks, it seems as if the hits have just been coming, and coming, and coming.
Two weeks ago, cornerback Leon Hall tore his Achilles while trying to break up a pass intended for Detroit's Calvin Johnson. Last week, defensive back Taylor Mays' season came to an end because of a dislocated shoulder that came one play shy of halftime against the New York Jets. Linebacker Rey Maualuga also will miss three to four weeks because of an MCL sprain from that game. Now, it's Atkins, the $55 million man, who has suffered an injury that appeared so straining that he ripped his helmet off immediately after it occurred. It was one that had his teammates taking knees as they looked on in disbelief that another one of their leaders had fallen.
If you're the Bengals, you have to hope for good news when it comes to his injury. This is a team that can't take another season-ender.
If there is a silver lining to the hits that have come so far, though, it's this: The Bengals have been able to take them and bounce back. It is rather amazing that even with all they were dealing with entering Thursday's game, the Bengals had a 6-2 record and looked like one of the NFL's top teams.
We'll see if Atkins' injury has any long-term effect on how well they can continue to roll.
Keep your eyes peeled, folks.
Update: A Bengals source confirmed to ESPN's Bob Holtzman that Atkins tore his ACL, but will have an MRI Friday to confirm the diagnosis.