NFL Wire News

Injuries start to hit Bengals


The Sports Xchange

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Bengals have admittedly been fortunate when it comes to injuries this season. But that luck might be changing in the wake of Sunday’s brutal 16-10 win at Pittsburgh. With a short week leading up to the Thursday night game against the Cleveland Browns, it’s likely that Cincinnati will be without right tackle Andre Smith who is in concussion protocol and linebacker Rey Maualuga who has a calf injury. Neither of them practiced on Tuesday. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap has a shoulder injury and was limited in practice Tuesday.

Nine-year veteran Eric Winston is expected to make his first start this season at right tackle in Smith’s spot and recently activated Vontaze Burfict who had a big game against the Steelers will spell Maualuga. The Bengals have had some big plays off the bench the past couple weeks, most notably cornerback Shawn Williams’ interception on Sunday which set up their winning drive in Pittsburgh.

“It’s expected,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “Those guys are legitimate players, and just waiting for an opening to happen. I think they keep making statements towards that. As we move forward, we have to be attentive of that and understand that. The guys that they are playing behind feel that pressure as well.”

–Bengals fans understandably are excited about their team’s 7-0 start. Although the Bengals have to wait a couple months before getting a chance to end a 24-year playoff victory drought, head coach Marvin Lewis said he’s sensed the excitement around town.

“A lot of people emptying their closets lately, huh?,” Lewis said laughing. “It’s great that people are having a good time. It doesn’t really change much for us. But, that’s great. I’m happy for the people in this building, who don’t have as much say about what happens on the field, because they really get a chance to enjoy it, and that’s really cool, as well as around the city. I’ve never seen so many people in orange and black.”

–Last week’s win at Pittsburgh was the 23rd road victory for Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, tying him for the most road wins by any quarterback in his first five seasons (record kept since the 1970 merger). Dalton joined Dan Marino, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan with 23 road wins during the first five seasons. Dalton has 13 losses on the road, and a road winning percentage of .639.

“Yeah, it’s cool to … have all the road wins that we’ve had,” Dalton said. “But I get it just because I’m the quarterback. A.J. (Green) came in with me, you’re not saying he’s got 23 road wins. So that’s part of it. It’s obviously nice, but we just have to keep winning.”

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