The Cincinnati Bengals might be down a key defensive contributor in their season opener on Sunday against the New York Jets.
According to Pro Football Talk, slot cornerback Darqueze Dennard was listed on the Bengals injury report as doubtful with a right ankle sprain.. They are already be without tight end Tyler Eifert.
Dennard has been with the Bengals since he was their first-round draft pick out of Michigan State in 2014. In 2013 he was a consensus All-American and Big Ten defensive player of the year
He returned to practice on Wednesday but has been practicing on a limited basis.
This has been a common occurrence for the Bengals. Year after year, whether it’s wide receiver A.J Green, quarterback Andy Dalton or defensive tackle Geno Atkins, they can’t seem to stay healthy. Eifert has not practiced this week because of his own ankle injury and his return is targeted for Week 4-6 according to NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport. He caught 13 touchdown passes last season and his absence will focus a lot more of the coverage back onto Green.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are without running back Le’Veon Bell again to begin the season due to a suspension, and defensive end Bud Dupree is on IR with a groin injury. The Bengals could use this to propel themselves to another AFC North championship. For that to work, their top contributors are going to have to stay on the field.