Mays hurt the shoulder while making a tackle on the final play in the first half of a 49-9 win over the New York Jets on Sunday. The Bengals (6-2) suffered several significant injuries, leaving them short-handed for a game Thursday night in Miami against the Dolphins (3-4).
Cincinnati's defense also is missing cornerback Leon Hall, out for the season with an Achilles tendon injury. Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga sprained the MCL in his left knee and suffered a concussion on Sunday. A source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that he is expected to miss three to four weeks. Defensive tackle Devon Still is out with an elbow injury. Defensive end Wallace Gilberry (groin) and Michael Boley (hamstring) are limited. Also, left tackle Andrew Whitworth injured his right knee.
The timing of Mays' departure from the lineup, coupled with Maualuga's likely long-term absence, couldn't be worse. It creates a little uncertainty for the Bengals, who now have to move players around throughout the secondary to fill the gaps that have formed.
A versatile back-end defender, Mays played some at nickel linebacker this season and would have been a logical option to play more of that role Thursday to accommodate for Maualuga's absence at middle linebacker. Vontaze Burfict, who occupies one of the outside spots, would be able to play some at Maualuga's position.
ESPN.com Bengals reporter Coley Harven and information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.